According to the United Nations, the world population is predicted to hit the 9 billion mark by the year 2050. During the same period, Africa’s population is expected to double from the current 1.2 billion to 2.5 billion. To meet the food and nutrition needs of this rising population, food production (under the current trends) will have to increase by 70%. Increasing production requires additional resources (land, water, energy, and other agro-inputs) that are scarce and inelastic. One strategy for increasing the food available to feed the ever-increasing population is to ensure proper and better utilization of the food that is already produced. It is estimated that one third (30%) of the food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted along the supply chains globally. Proportionately this translates into 1.3 billion metric tons of the total volume of the food produced. Food Losses and Waste (FLW) negatively impact food security, nutrition and economic stability (Food Import bill). Reduction of FLW is an important and viable strategy to ensure food and nutritional security in efficient and sustainable food systems. It has become even more critical as most countries appreciate the futility of increasing production (using limited resources) to make up for the lost food. There are concerted efforts to reduce FLW as reflected in the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 12.3) and the Malabo declaration by the African Union’s heads of state. In both cases there is a commitment to halve the postharvest losses from the current levels by the year 2030 and 2025 respectively. The good news is that there are proven technologies and strategies to effectively reduce the postharvest losses. However the technologies remain largely under-utilized due to various factors including lack of awareness; unaffordability; and lack of access due to limited distribution and emergent policy constraints
Against this background, the World Food Preservation Center® LLC (WFPC) in conjunction with its sister University (University of Nairobi) and a consortium of Universities and Research & Development Institutions in Africa are organizing the First Africa-wide Postharvest Loss Reduction Conference and Exhibition. The conference whose theme is Reducing Food Losses and Waste: Sustainable Solutions for Africa is the first of its kind to be held in Africa. The conference will provide an excellent 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 FLW on the continent. The specific objectives of the conference are:
1. To raise awareness on food losses and waste through data and information sharing.
2. To document the impact of postharvest food loss and waste on food and nutrition in Africa.
3. To identify and disseminate effective and appropriate technologies and practices for FLW reduction in the African context.
4. To identify postharvest “Skill Gaps” and “Technology Gaps” in Africa’s higher education and extension systems
5. To identify effective multi-stakeholder strategies and policy interventions for FLW reduction
6. To provide a platform for participants to build networks and partnerships for resource mobilization and other activities geared towards FLW reduction
7. To generate a comprehensive action plan for the reduction of food loss and waste for the African continent
To realize these objectives, the conference theme has been unpacked into five subthemes to effectively cover the actor’s interests and functions in various food supply chains. The five subthemes are as follows.
1. Postharvest food and loss waste evaluation/ assessment.
2. Postharvest handling and technologies for perishable commodities (including fruits, vegetables, roots & tubers, edible fungi, milk, fish, meat, cooked food).
3. Postharvest handling and technologies for non-perishable commodities (including grains, processed foods)
4. Capacity building including Postharvest training, education, extension/outreach programs
5. Gender, Policy and Governance issues affecting postharvest management
For further details please visit the conference website: africa-postharvestconference.uonbi.ac.ke or E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org OR email@example.com
You can also contact the Chairperson, Local Organizing Committee
Dr. Jane Ambuko, Department of Plant Science & Crop Protection, University of Nairobi
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org OR email@example.com Mobile: 0722-676458
The First Africa-wide Postharvest Food Loss Reduction Conference and Exhibition
28th to 31st March 2017 at Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya