The concluded 1st All Africa Post Harvest Congress and Exhibition event, held in Nairobi, Kenya on the 28th to 31st March, focused on the post-harvest land-scape in Africa. Having taken place against a backdrop of 30% global food losses and a recent drought that affected up to 3 million Kenyans, the event brought together governments, private sectors, researchers and academicians, to review the progresses in place and innovations to reduce food losses and wastage.
Majority of the value chain actors and those vulnerable from food losses are women and youth, who are disadvantaged while trying to secure financial resources that are needed for investment of solutions showcased during the event. Therefore, it is only prudent that the involved stakeholders focus their attention on tackling issues of affordability and usage of technologies that will enable producers, processors, transporters and retailers to play their part in reducing food losses. As a country, we have a mandate to improve food security and export surplus produce through deliberate investments while empowering a focused group to access financing in order to increase the acquisition of latest storage and processing technologies through funding facilities such as the youth enterprise fund and women’s development fund. Hence, this will require commitment at both county and national levels.
SOCAA is working in collaboration with SNV and IFPRI and other partners in the Voice For Change evidence based project in collaboration with public and private sector stakeholders to increase the opportunities for improved consumption of safe food and reduce food losses. Through improvements to policies and institutional linkages that will increase public and private sector investment in food safety and food loss reduction we envisage a food secure Kenya.
Rikki Agudah (CEO, SOCAA)