Conference to support postharvest and agro-processing extension in Africa

April.14.2015

The Sasakawa Africa Association (SAA) and the Sasakawa Africa Fund for Extension Education (SAFE), in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture in Ethiopia, are organising a conference at Hawassa, SNNPR, Ethiopia – 270 km south of Addis Ababa – from 24 to 26 June on the development of the post-production sector of the crop value chain.

“Postharvest losses account for 30 percent of the food produced by Africa’s smallholder farmers”, comments SAA’s Managing Director, Juliana Rwelamira. “We must improve postharvest handling, storage and the processing of agricultural produce to reduce losses, increase income, and improve livelihoods. Essentially, also, we must produce more nutritious food both for the home and the marketplace.”
Ethiopia’s State Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Wondirad Mandefro, says “the conference is very timely focusing on experience-sharing for impact more than knowledge, on maintaining quality of produce that will change the mindset of the consumers, and on capacity building of stakeholders. We need to work more aggressively to link the farms to organized marketing systems.”
The keynote address will be delivered by Professor Ruth Oniang'o, Chairperson of SAA and SAFE Board. An expert on nutrition, Professor Oniang’o received the 2014 International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA) lifetime award and is Vice Chair of the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR). She was invited to join a high level policy advisory group last year by the African Union (AU), to support 2014 as the AU’s ‘year of agriculture and food security’. Prof. Oniang’o is also the Editor-in-Chief of the African Journal for Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development (AJFAND), and the Founder of the Rural Outreach Program (ROP) Africa.
Representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture, extension personnel, farmers, agro-processors, and academic specialists, will join private sector organisations which are increasingly becoming involved in this important sector of the rural economy.
For further information at: www.//saasafe-conference.org
Or, contact Leony Halos-Kim, Thematic Director, Postharvest & Agro-processing Extension.

Email: l.halos-kim@saa-safe.org; info@saasafe-conference.org, Tel: +251 11647 7662
Patrick Orr, Information Consultant, Patrick@raittorr.co.uk

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