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Insight

Food security Africa: 32% of crops end up as food waste

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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Author

Stephen Awuah

Regional Director (SSA)

Stephen is a Regional Director (SSA) with Farrelly & Mitchell and leads the firm’s Ghana (SS Africa) office, located in Accra. He is a seasoned food and agribusiness professional having consulted across a wide range of agribusiness and food processing assignments in Ghana and West Africa.

Food security Africa: 32% of crops end up as food waste

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Food security Africa: 32% of crops end up as food waste

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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.

Download Full Insight

Author

Stephen Awuah

Regional Director (SSA)

Stephen is a Regional Director (SSA) with Farrelly & Mitchell and leads the firm’s Ghana (SS Africa) office, located in Accra. He is a seasoned food and agribusiness professional having consulted across a wide range of agribusiness and food processing assignments in Ghana and West Africa.

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