By Abdallah el-Kurebe
The First Africa Postharvest Conference organized by the World Food Preservation Center in conjunction of the University of Nairobi and a consortium of Universities and a Research & Development Institution in Africa will hold in Nairobi, Kenya in March.
With an overall aim of providing a platform where technologists and promoters could “interact with potential users, sponsors and policy makers with an ultimate goal of scaling up for wider adoption in an enabling policy environment,” the Conference will avail opportunity for sharing “Success stories of technologies, practices, strategies and policies that have worked to reduce food losses in the African context.”
According to a post by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the Conference, which is aimed at postharvest loss reduction and exhibition has a theme: ‘Reducing Postharvest Food Losses: Sustainable Solutions for Africa,’ will bring together diverse stakeholders in the food supply chain including farmers, transporters and traders as well as researchers, academics, policy makers, technology developers and entrepreneurs in the public and private sector.
The gathering will also “provide a platform for researchers, academics, farmers, industry, development agencies, civil society and policy makers to learn, share information, build networks and partnerships with the overall objective of identifying effective interventions to reduce food lossess and waste in the continent,” Harvest also posted.
The specific objectives of the conference include: To raise awareness on food losses and waste through data and information sharing; document the impact of postharvest food loss and waste on food and nutrition in Africa; identify and disseminate effective and appropriate technologies and practices for FLW reduction in the African context; identify postharvest “Skill Gaps” and “Technology Gaps” in Africa’s higher education and extension system; identify effective multi-stakeholder strategies and policy interventions for FLW reduction; provide a platform for participants to build networks and partnerships for resource mobilization and other activities geared towards FLW reduction and generate a comprehensive action plan for the reduction of food loss and waste for the African continent, among others.