On Wednesday, 18 September 2019, the African Union Commission said that it has developed a post-harvest loss management strategy in collaboration with partners to help 55 member states in the continent.
This was disclosed during the opening ceremony of the second All Africa Post-harvest Congress and Exhibition that took place in Addis Ababa.
AU Commissioner for Economic Affairs, Professor Victor Harrison said the new strategy is a landmark for Africa and the first ever post-harvest loss strategy for the continent which demonstrates AU commitment to providing the right strategies and frameworks to get member states to increase agricultural productivity, create jobs and improve incomes from strengthening value chains and by reducing post-harvest losses.
The strategy will support 55 member states in implementing actions in all efforts in agricultural food value chain to reduce post-harvest loss, he added.
The specific interventions of this strategy include supporting member states to develop and implement robust national policy, technology advancement and adoption of improved market infrastructure as well as institutional capacity building, among others.
FAO Deputy Regional Representative for Africa, Jocelyn Brown Hall on her part said post-harvest management is a priority area of FAO.
She added that FAO estimates that in Africa alone the total quantitative food loss has been estimated to be over 100 million metric tonnes every year.
According to her, the food organization is also working with African farmers in general and Ethiopian farmers, in particular, on how to store their grain in a proper way.
Food loss is critical in Africa and the new strategy is a foundation which all partners, donors, government and other key actors would cooperate to put into fruition.
Global food losses and waste are estimated at 1.3 billion metric tonnes, equivalent to over 30 percent of the total food produced for human consumption, and it is estimated that global food wastage could feed up to 1.6 billion people annually.