Interview: Tackling food loss/waste in Africa requires an all-inclusive solution—Mamadou Biteye

VA: Aside from Coca-Cola, what other companies did YieldWise collaborate with to carry out this project?

MB: The Rockefeller Foundation is partnering with cross sectoral partners to provide the much needed solution to food loss. In Nigeria, we are working with farmers in the tomato and cassava value chains; in the tomato value chain we are working with the Dangote Group through Pyxera Global to buy tomatoes from farmers in bulk, thus providing sufficient supply for the Dangote Group’s tomato processing firm.

In Kenya, we are supporting the mango value chain and working with Technoserve to provide training and education to farmers on Post Harvest Loss (PHL) techniques and linking them to companies, such as Coca Cola, that are buying the mango puree/syrup from the farmers for their Minute Maid Juices.

In Tanzania, we are supporting the maize value chain and we are working with their government and WFP to provide PHL techniques for the safer storage of maize from the farms. At the farms, we are offering simple techniques such as PICS bags that store maize longer and fresher at a large scale level we are working with government to construct silos where maize can be stored especially during bumper harvests. The awareness and mobilization of the farmers has been done by AGRA.

VA: Behavioral change is very essential in putting an end to food waste and shortage. Is YieldWise involved with the governments of Nigeria, Kenya and Tanzania to aid in orienting people on food shortage?  

MB: Yes, the foundation is working with governments to ensure these countries adopt post-harvest loss measures, through encouraging models and government policies that drive mutual economic growth, such as modern export policies. A key example is Nigeria’s Kano State, where our work is with Pyxera Global. Kano State will be among others in the federation to benefit from $1 billion secured by the Federal Government from the World Bank, African Development Bank and the private sector for the development of Staple Crop Processing zones. The Minister, has since requested the government of Kano State to allocate an additional 250 hectares of land for the project, which he said, would make Kano the hub of tomato production in Nigeria and its output would replace the current import of the farm produce from China and Italy.

Read the full interview at Architect Africa Online.

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