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2nd All Africa Postharvest Congress and Exhibition ,17-20 September 2019

September 17, 2019 to September 20, 2019

2nd All Africa Postharvest Congress and Exhibition ,17-20 September 2019

BACKGROUND AND RATIONALE
Africa has remained the most food insecure continent in the world, with approximately one in four people undernourished. Over the years, most African governments have focused on increasing production to meet the food and nutrition needs of the ever rising population which is estimated to reach 2.5 billion by the year 2050. Indeed, most of the strategies for food and nutrition security (FNS) have been focused more on extensification (putting more land to production) and intensification (increased use of agro-inputs). However, these approaches to FNS are challenged by the limited and inelastic production resources (including land, water, energy, agro-inputs). Current food production systems are unsustainable and climate change poses additional challenge to sustainable agriculture in Africa.
Historical over-emphasis on increased agricultural production without complementary interventions to ensure proper utilization of the food produced has contributed to the reported increase in postharvest food loss and waste over the years. Global food losses and waste is estimated at 1.3 billion metric tonnes (MT), equivalent to over 30% 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. In sub-Saharan Africa alone, the total quantitative food loss has been estimated to be over 100 million MT/year. For grains alone, the value of postharvest losses is equivalent to approximately USD 4 billion/year (at 2007 prices), which could meet the annual food requirements of about 48 million people. The value of food loss exceeds the annual value of grain imports into Africa. These losses exacerbate food insecurity and have negative impacts on the environment through wasting precious land, water, farm inputs and energy used in producing food that is not consumed. In addition, postharvest losses reduce income to farmers and contribute to higher food prices.

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