Post-Harvest Handling and Agroprocessing Regional Workshop

Sunday, February 3, 2013 to Tuesday, February 5, 2013

 

Post-Harvest Handling and Agroprocessing Regional Workshop
Grand Imperial Botanical Hotel, Entebbe, Uganda

Background

The Workshop is a Grantee led McKnight CCRP activity aimed at providing a forum for researchers, government and development workers to deliberate on prospects of utilizing post-harvest handling and agro-processing technologies to improve nutrition, food security and livelihoods of resource constrained farming communities. The workshop is partly in recognition of the following as contributors to food insecurity and poor livelihoods

  • High post- harvest losses
  • Poor quality of food supply
  • Limited value addition
  • Limited product diversity
  • Low farm gate prices.

Goal of workshop

Develop a model for utilization of agro-processing and post-harvest technologies by researchers, development workers, policy makers and agricultural practitioners

Specific objectives

  1. Share experiences on the potential role of agro-processing and post-harvest technologies in the improvement of nutrition, food security, livelihoods and sustainability for resource constrained agricultural communities, and on prospects for successful utilization of food technology for development
  2. Assess prospects for utilizing agro-processing and post-harvest technologies for improvement of nutrition, food security, livelihoods and sustainability for resource constrained agricultural communities in East and Horn of Africa region
  3. Develop a strategy for wider, effective and sustainable application of regionally adaptable post-harvest and agro-processing technologies and interventions for addressing food security, livelihoods in the East and Horn of Africa Region
  4. Initiate designing of interventions for utilization of agro-processing and post-harvest technologies for improvement of food security, nutrition, livelihoods and sustainability for resource constrained agricultural communities in East and Horn of Africa region

Rationale

Most of the projects under the CCRP East and Horn of Africa Community of Practice focus on increasing agricultural production to improve nutrition, food security, livelihoods and sustainability. Given the high post-harvest losses, poor quality of food products and the low value of farm produce, adoption of appropriate agro-processing and post harvest technologies has potential to leverage these investments in increased production. A regional workshop provides a forum for designing regionally adaptable interventions that promote appropriate agro-processing and post harvest technologies. The potential benefits of such interventions to the region include:

A) Improvement of quality of agricultural products and reduction in post harvest losses

Agricultural products are prone to quality loss after harvest. Such loss leads to reduction in food available for consumption, lower market value, poor aesthetic properties as well infestation with materials like mycotoxins which negatively affect health. Adoption of appropriate agro-processing and post harvest technologies (including drying and storage) can help address these problems and contribute to improved quality of agricultural products and reduction in post harvest losses. The quality products resulting from adoption of appropriate processing and post harvest technologies are also likely for fetch higher market prices, contributing to improved incomes.

B) Promoting supply of nutritious food products to address nutritional deficiencies

Balanced foods can be developed by blending and appropriately processing varied locally produced foodstuffs. Currently, the level of malnutrition among children less than 5 years of age in the region is unacceptably high. The high malnutrition rates among children have been attributed to the absence of foods specially designed for children. Such foods should be balanced in nutrient composition, should be low in anti-nutritional factors and should not exhibit high dietary bulk. The proposed workshop is expected to propose interventions for applying processing technologies to promote the supply of nutritious foods based on widely produced agricultural products, contributing to improvement in nutrition.

C) Promoting village based food processing to diversify household income sources

Most households in rural Africa depend on farming as their major source of livelihoods. This makes them vulnerable to all shocks that affect agriculture. In addition, there is very high pressure on farm land generated by the increasing population. Many households are currently unable to obtain sufficient food and income from farming alone. This raises a need for alternative enterprises to increase household incomes. The proposed workshop will identify agro-processing interventions which can contribute to diversification of income sources.