On Thursday 28th March, Strathmore University Business School (SBS) held its 3rd Annual Agribusiness Investors Summit. The theme was, ‘Post-harvest management and its impact on food security and nutrition’ with the Key Note speaker, Deputy Ambassador of Israel to Kenya Mr. Eyal David.
In 2017, an estimated Sh150 billion worth of food was wasted or lost in Kenya according to National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) and even as farmers struggled to earn a decent income, Kenyans in certain regions were faced with starvation fueled by drought and lack of access to good quality food.
A huge percentage of this waste is also attributed to consumers who buy more than they need and a large percentage of agri-preneur who do not possess the right knowledge and skills to manage their produce.
agri-preneurs struggle with critical challenges including poor food handling, poor storage and sanitation, manual harvesting, inadequate transportation systems for food to markets and lack of access to markets. There is a need to develop innovative ways to preserve and store food to increase shelf life and maintain quality, to develop better supply chains and faster routes to market and to explore processing and value addition to increase margins and build livelihoods. Reducing post-harvest waste and losses will mean better quality of food, higher incomes for the agri-preneur and increased employment opportunities.
Dr. George Njenga, Executive Dean SBS gave his remarks stating that “the potential of the agribusiness sector in Kenya and in Africa is vast. Reducing post-harvest waste and losses will create social and economic benefits at all levels of the value chain. It will mean better quality of food, higher incomes for the agri-preneur, increased employment opportunities and improved livelihoods”.
Deputy Ambassador Eyal David was elated to be involved in this initiative as he opened the floor to the speakers by talking about the key lessons Kenya could learn from Israel on agricultural development.
The Summit featured a plethora of speakers from different agricultural functions, from poultry farmers, dairy farmers, investors, regulators and business owners. Mr. Joachim Westerveld, Chairman of BIO Food Products Ltd, was among the speakers present. He was forthcoming with information on how their company ensures quality on the farm as it directly translates to quality on the plate. He explained how BIO Food Ltd ensures a quality-based payment system to its farmers in order to maintain product standards.
We are glad to be working in tandem with the big four agenda enhancing food security and nutrition security as we look forward to seeing the outcome of lessons learnt at this summit.
This article was written by Pamela Nyandat.
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