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