Farmers, academics, entrepreneurs, and policymakers will gather at the Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya, from March 28 to 31, 2017, for a conference on Reducing Postharvest Food Losses: Sustainable Solutions for Africa. Organizers of the event expect more than 300 people to convene with hopes to identify practical solutions to reduce food losses and waste in Africa. The conference is the first of its kind on the continent and will provide an excellent platform for all stakeholders in the food supply chain. Attendees will be able to learn, share information, build partnerships, and innovate with others concerned about food waste.
According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), about one-third of food produced globally is lost or wasted along supply chains. The FAO further reports that food waste is worse in developing countries because 40 percent of food is lost postharvest. The overall objective of this gathering is to reduce food loss and waste across the African continent.
Established by the World Food Preservation Center, LLC, in conjunction with the University of Nairobi, a consortium of other universities, and the Kenyan Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation, the conference will feature distinguished keynote speakers with vast practical knowledge and experience on the subject of food waste.
Organizers also announced the All-Africa Postharvest Technologies and Innovations Challenge, 2017, which seeks to showcase emerging solutions with realistic scale-up potential and strengthen ties between entrepreneurs and investors. It is open to individuals and organizations from or working in Africa and serves as an opportunity to leverage technology to reduce postharvest waste. The entries should either be in testing or at market-ready stages of development.
After hearing the top 10 entries during the three days of indoor sessions, attendees will experience the realities of the food waste scenario in Kenya. Conference attendees will travel to farms, markets, packing houses, processing plants, and packaging facilities to interact with and observe various stakeholders in the food supply chain.
At the conference, current technologies, strategies, and policies will be showcased that have reduced postharvest losses throughout Africa. Organizers anticipate that positive steps will be taken to reduce food waste during the conference. Some of their attainable goals include producing a comprehensive action plan for Africa, implementing new technologies, identifying relevant policy interventions, improving agricultural skills gaps, and providing a platform for networking to occur. Overall, this gathering will raise awareness about African food losses and waste.
The deadline for entry submission is February 17, 2017. The top 10 innovators will pitch their solutions in Kenya and receive US$35,000. Presentations will take place during a session of all stakeholders at the three-day conference. The entries should be submitted by email to [email protected] with a copy to [email protected].