First All Africa Post-Harvest Congress to begin in Nairobi

By Judith Akolo

This week Kenya plays host to the All Africa Post–Harvest Congress where experts in agriculture and food security are focusing on coming up with sustainable ways to reduce post harvest losses.

According to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), one third of the world’s available food does not make it to the table due to losses, resulting to food insecurity especially in African countries.

The first All Africa Post-Harvest Congress begins in Nairobi with the theme, “Reducing Food Losses and Waste: Sustainable Solutions for Africa”.

The forum seeks to turn around fortunes on the African continent in line with the fulfillment of the African Union, Malabo Declaration on Agriculture and Postharvest Losses that seeks to find solutions to reducing post-harvest food losses in Africa.

FAO says in Africa, 40 percent of the losses occur even before the food hits the market.

30 percent of the grains produced and nearly 90 percent of fruits are wasted and are never consumed as a result of inadequate post-harvest management, lack of structured markets, inadequate storage in households and on farms as well as limited processing capacity.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the Malabo Declaration (2014) have set a target of halving postharvest losses by 2030 and 2025 respectively.

According to Agriculture CS Willy Bett, little or no research has been done on post-harvest management, thus posing an even bigger risk to the country’s food security.