Wrong treatment of grain, vegetable and fruit harvests can cause huge losses of food. Reducing these losses would be a big step forward in the fight against hunger and malnourishment. A special during AgroTech Ethiopia has taken up the subject.
Depending on the product, country and season food losses can reach a two-digit percentage of harvests. This situation becomes even more important in countries with high food insecurity. If it succeeded in reducing these losses significantly, then it would be a big step towards fighting against hunger. Experiences over decades have indicated how ambitious this goal is, so more private sector engagement is highly demanded in terms of expertise and investments. Agricultural fairs are good opportunities to facilitate this approach.
In the context of increasing private sector involvement in international development cooperation, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has commissioned Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, (GIZ) to second more than 35 advisors to business associations and regional associations as well as to Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Chambers of Skilled Crafts and foundation organisations across Germany. EZ-Scouts advise companies and associations about the wide range of promotion, funding and cooperation opportunities available in German development cooperation. Moreover, they establish contacts with international and local networks and provide support as far as developing and implementing specific project ideas is concerned. This creates an even playing field on which the German Government, developing countries and emerging economies as well as stakeholders from business and civil society can work together. DLG is one host organisation of EZ-Scouts.
Among other things, the advisor for development cooperation at DLG (EZ-Scout; EZ is the German abbreviation for development cooperation) has started an initiative to highlight the issue of reducing post-harvest losses for African countries. Thus, DLG Competence Centre for Agriculture, University of Kassel, Department of agricultural engineering, and the GIZ-sector project sustainable agriculture have jointly developed information material on this topic in total six roll-ups indicate various technical options, e.g. pre-selecting of commodities before storage or processing of new products based on non-storable commodities. As important as technology is post-harvest management. How can I reduce for instance Aflatoxin attacks of wheat or maize by proper management? A fact-sheet describes a range of management topics and includes a checklist to identify fields of actions at individual operations level. This set of materials is used on agricultural fairs.
DLG International is actively involved in five fairs across Africa, where this mini exhibition will be displayed - AgroTech Ethiopia has been the start in May 2019. AgroTech Ethiopia is part of AgroFood Ethiopia, which compiles four sections under one roof demonstrating entire agricultural value chains „from field to fork“. This year, 3,200 experts visited the fair (+20 % compared to 2018) and 152 exhibitors form 18 countries displayed their products and services. The highlighted topic reducing post-harvest losses has reached many visitors. Two former PhD-students of Jimma University (partner University of Department of agricultural engineering, Witzenhausen) took care of the interested technical visitors and introduced additional presentations on the fair. The trade show appearance has facilitated in-depth discussions and has connected Ethiopian and German experts.
Fairs in Ghana and AGRITECHNICA in Hanover will follow this year. In 2020, fairs in Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire and Zambia will host the exhibition on post-harvest losses.
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Link: more information on the related BMZ-programme (in German).