Food waste threatens African food security

Solutions to food waste in West Africa

West Africa has made tremendous agricultural improvement during the last three decades. However, supply is only one part of the equation and increased production does not always equate to less hunger. Getting produce to the consumer in good quality is crucial to ensuring food security.

The majority of food losses in Sub-Saharan Africa are attributed to agricultural and post-harvest losses.

Challenges in solving food waste in West Africa

In Africa, 80 percent of food is produced by smallholder farmers who cannot afford the latest harvesting technologies and mostly engage in subsistence farming.  If they’re lucky they will produce just enough to earn a modest income.

In comparison to machine-assisted harvesting, manual harvesting is a slow and laborious procedure and leads to more crop damage. Produce that has been mishandled during harvest is more prone to illness and rot while being transported to market.

“Transport costs in West Africa are among the highest in the world” According to the Borderless Alliance, a private-sector coalition that works to promote greater intra-regional trade by reducing non-tariff barriers.

“The high costs mean that farmers and other producers get lower prices for their goods”, and this lost revenue keeps farmers poor, depriving them of critical resources to invest in harvesting and processing machines, storage solutions and better transport options.

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Stephen Awuah

Regional Director (SSA)

Leading Farrelly & Mitchell's Ghana office, Regional Director Stephen Awuah is a seasoned food and agribusiness professional. With an extensive portfolio of agribusiness consultancy in the SSA region, Stephen offers unrivalled regional expertise.


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