By: Nakachew Ayele
Addis Ababa (Ethiopia Today), June 22, 2023: The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) endorsed food safety and post-harvest loss management strategies to attain self-sufficiency in the region.
At the validation workshop, IGAD said that post-harvest loss and food safety are important but often forgotten factors that exacerbate food and nutrition insecurity in the region.
IGAD’s wish to attain self-sufficiency in food has led policymakers at all levels to pursue a multifaceted approach encompassing increasing domestic food production, food loss reduction, and food safety along agricultural value chains.
The reduction of food losses and food safety are consistent with the third commitment of the Malabo Declaration on Africa’s Accelerated Agriculture Growth and Transformation for Shared Prosperity and Livelihoods, and the organization adds that IGAD member states are committed to the implementation of the declaration.
“Towards the fulfillment of this commitment, most IGAD Member States will formulate their national Post-Harvest Loss Management and Food Safety strategies based on these regional strategies, which were technically and financially supported by FAO.”
IGAD is committed to full implementation of these strategies and will work hand in hand with member states, development partners, and all concerned stakeholders in moving towards nutrition for the attainment of the global sustainable development goals and the AU Agenda 2063, Workneh remarked.
In 2018 alone, post-harvest grain losses in the IGAD region amounted to approximately 4.1 million metric tons and were valued at over 1.3 billion USD. In comparison, the 2018 cereal import requirements for the region were 10.7 million metric tons, including 706,000 metric tons in food assistance, it was said.