NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 8 – Africa is losing about $4 billion (Sh400 billion) to post harvest losses every year.
International Fund for Agriculture Development President Konayo Nwanze attributes this to poor storage facilities on the continent that urgently needs to be addressed.
The losses are also attributed to market inefficiencies and bottlenecks in the food value chain.
“These are the discussions that needs to be addressed. Statistics indicate that we are importing agricultural goods worth Sh3.5 trillion, these statistics need to turn around,” he added.
The Rockefeller Foundation states that more than 40 percent of staple food produced in Africa is lost before it reaches the market.
It states that about 470 million farmers in Africa stand to see increased income if the leakages leading to post-harvest loss are addressed.
“Smallholders find it difficult to invest in productivity-enhancing and income raising technologies and practices, which would enable them to overcome poverty traps, when output price trends are unpredictable,” Nwanze pointed out.
He states that if inefficiencies and uncertainties are not creatively addressed, then most smallholder farmers will continue to lag behind and will remain poor as the opportunities generated by the region’s rapidly rising demand for food are filled by imports.
The global food system is also facing a quiet crisis where one-third of all food produced is never consumed while 1.2 billion people go to bed hungry or under-nourished, and global economic losses mount into the trillions.