Africa’s food im­port costs likely to go up, warn ex­perts

The Star (Kenya) - - News Business -

Africa’s food im­port bill could go up to $110 bil­lion (Sh11.15 tril­lion) by 2025, un­less post-har­vest losses are dealt with through be­hav­iour change ap­proaches, a fo­rum was told.

Ex­perts spoke on Wed­nes­day dur­ing a meet­ing con­vened to as­sess gains of the Yield-Wise ini­tia­tive by Rock­e­feller.

They said the bill which stands at $35 bil­lion (Sh3.5 tril­lion) has been ag­gra­vated by food losses in the con­ti­nent, adding sub-sa­ha­ran Africa loses 20 per cent of the food har­vested in post-har­vest prac­tices.

Yield-Wise em­pow­ers small­holder farm­ers with skills on re­duc­ing post har­vest losses and aims at cut­ting global food loss by half through be­hav­iour change cam­paigns. “Most of the crops are lost at farm level due to poor han­dling, lack of stor­age and lack of mar­ket ac­cess,” Rock­e­feller Foun­da­tion man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Africa Ma­madou Bit­eye said.

He said progress has been recorded in spe­cific food value chains in Kenya and Tan­za­nia, as small­holder farm­ers are taught new tech­nolo­gies on han­dling har­vest.

“Kenyan farm­ers in Makueni have in­creased their volumes to the mar­ket to 200 met­ric tonnes from 100 met­ric tonnes af­ter ap­ply­ing tech­nolo­gies in pes­ti­cide use, crop care, hy­gienic har­vest­ing tech­niques and re­frig­er­a­tion of man­goes,” Bit­eye said.

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