Need for Appropriate Technologies that Reduce Post-harvest Loss Underscored

Africa needs to improve investment in appropriate technologies to reduce post-harvest loss, African Union CAADP Coordinator Komla Bissi told ENA.

Out of the more than 800 million people facing hunger globally, 278 million are in Africa where 30 percent of the food produced for human consumption is wasted, he added.

According to Bissi it is a common knowledge that at least about 30 percent of all the total green produce in this continent is lost in many ways along the value chain from the farm to the processing and to the table.

Therefore, “emphasis must not only be made on producing more food to achieve continental food security but also work towards reducing the losses that we are experiencing along the value chain from the farm to the dining table.”

He emphasized the need to improve investment in appropriate technologies to reduce post-harvest loss.

“We need to improve our investment in the capacities research that enables us to be able to identify the areas of losses, quantify the losses, and then develop mechanisms that allow us to be able to reduce these losses along the value chain,” the coordinator stated.

In connection with this, the African Union Commission has approved a continental process that has developed the continental Post-harvest Management Strategy to help countries identify their own priorities on what needs to be done to reduce post-harvest loss.

Bissi noted that African Union Summit in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, adopted a remarkable set of concrete agriculture goals to be attained by 2025.

“As we speak a number of countries are on a positive movement towards activities. In the last review that we conducted, we are aware that at least 11 countries have done extremely well towards meeting these targets.”

South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, and Ethiopia, among a few, seem to be on track, he revealed.

“We encourage countries to continue to innovate and continue to prioritize post-harvest losses as part of the global food security agenda of different countries and the continent,” the coordinator added.

Sasakawa Africa Association Strategic Partnerships Director, Mel Oluoch said on his part that post-harvest management is a really critical area in the food chain.

“If you look at the entire food systems there's a lot of work which goes into making sure that we produce the food that we eat. And unfortunately, in Africa, up to 30 percent of the food that is produced is lost after harvest.”

He stressed that it is important to find solutions in how we can reduce this post-harvest food loss.

“Farmers who engage in the agriculture value chain can be able to maximize the profits they get by reducing this food loss and making sure also that the food that ends up in the market for consumers is of top quality, not toxic, and not affected by aflatoxin.”

He underlined that the key issue here is partnership, coming together, working together amongst us to be able to find these concrete solutions that we need to be able to reduce post-harvest food loss or food waste in Africa.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency