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Apply now for Postharvest Technologies and Innovations Challenge

By Standard Reporter | Updated Mon, February 20th 2017 at 18:26 GMT +3

The organizers of the inaugural All Africa Postharvest Technologies and Innovations Challenge, 2017 have announced that the deadline for receipt of entries has been extended to February 24, 2017 to allow researchers and innovators more time to participate.

 The Challenge is being organized under the auspices of the 1st All Africa Postharvest Congress and Exhibition which being hosted from the 28th to 31st March 2017, by the University of Nairobi in partnership with a consortium of Kenyan universities, Research and Development Organizations, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries in conjunction and the World Food Preservation Center. The challenge will be judged by a panel of Eminent Judges from across Africa and the top 20 postharvest technologies and innovations will be profiled during the Congress and on its online platforms.

 The top 10 innovators will receive a shared cash award amounting to 35,000 US dollars and get a chance to showcase their ideas to leading investors attending the Congress. The overall goal is to identify technologies and innovations that can address the challenges faced by farmers and other value chain actors in postharvest management across a range of food value chains. The Award ceremony will be held during the Congress which will be hosted at the Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi on 28th to 31st March 2017.

"We are very happy with the growing interest that this inaugural technologies and innovations challenge is eliciting from the global post-harvest management community hence the reason we have decided to extend the deadline," said Dr. Catherine Kunyanga, the Chair of the challenge organizing committee. "We urge individual innovators and institutions in postharvest management to seize this fantastic opportunity to showcase their game-changing technologies and innovations to the world."

She added: "The aim of the challenge is to document and showcase the best emerging postharvest technologies and innovations with potential for scale-up. This challenge seeks to connect innovators to potential investors and facilitate up-scaling and out-scaling of their innovations with the ultimate goal of reducing postharvest food losses".

The Chairperson of the Congress Organizing Committee Dr. Jane Ambuko said that the Africa Postharvest Technologies and Innovations Challenge was meant to document hitherto unknown postharvest technologies and innovations. "We hope that this exciting and unique Challenge will attract participation from everyone regardless of the sector or level of training," Dr. Ambuko added. "We are expecting entries from a cross-section of innovators including farmers and other practitioners in the food supply chain because they have innovative ways of addressing the challenges they face at the grassroots level."

Under theme "Reducing Food Losses and Waste: Sustainable Solutions for Africa", the 1st All Africa Postharvest Congress and Exhibition, seeks to contribute to the global agenda of reducing postharvest food loss and waste.  It seeks to define actionable solutions to reverse the current trend where an estimated 30 per cent or 1.3 billion metric tons of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted along the supply chains.

Dr. Ambuko added: "Postharvest losses result in at least 15% lost income for over 470 million actors across the agriculture value chains and the Congress will provide an opportunity to discuss strategies for overcoming this challenge. We will also come up with actionable plans to respond to the calls for action outlined in the recently signed United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the Malabo Declaration which have set a target of halving postharvest losses by 2030 and 2025 respectively."

The lead strategic partner in the Congress is the Rockefeller Foundation. The initiative is also supported by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), African Union Commission, Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), East African Grain Council (EAGC), East Africa Trade and Investment Hub (USAID), Postharvest Education Foundation, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, Horticulture Innovation Lab (USAID), Netherlands Development Organization (SNV), Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), IDRC among others.

About the partners

The University of Nairobi: The official host of the Congress, the University of Nairobi is the leading higher learning institution in Kenya and the region. The University seeks to provide quality university education and training and to embody the aspirations of the Kenyan people and the global community through creation, preservation, integration, transmission and utilization of knowledge. With a vision to be a world-class university committed to scholarly excellence, the University responds to the national, regional and Africa's high level manpower training needs by developing and evolving strong, diversified academic programs and specializations in basic sciences, applied sciences, technology, humanities and social sciences. The University has a distinguished record of achievements in teaching, research, knowledge transfer and service to society while strategizing for a greater future as the center of academic, research and professional excellence. www.uonbi.ac.ke

 About The Rockefeller Foundation

For more than 100 years, The Rockefeller Foundation's mission has been to promote the well-being of humanity throughout the world. Today, The Rockefeller Foundation pursues this mission through dual goals: advancing inclusive economies that expand opportunities for more broadly shared prosperity, and building resilience by helping people, communities and institutions prepare for, withstand, and emerge stronger from acute shocks and chronic stresses. To achieve these goals, The Rockefeller Foundation works at the intersection of four focus areas – advance health, revalue ecosystems, secure livelihoods, and transform cities – to address the root causes of emerging challenges and create systemic change. Together with partners and grantees, The Rockefeller Foundation strives to catalyze and scale transformative innovations, create unlikely partnerships that span sectors, and take risks others cannot – or will not. For more information, please visit www.rockefellerfoundation.org

About the World Food Preservation Center® LLC<http://www.worldfoodpreservationcenter.com/index.html> (WFPC) is comprised of twenty-five major research universities and 2 major agricultural research institutes on six continents. Its mission is to enhance the "postharvest intellectual capital" of developing countries. It accomplishes this by: (1) promoting the graduate education (M.S. and Ph.D.) of young student/scientists in developing countries and having them conduct research on much needed new postharvest technologies; (2) in conjunction with CRC Press (Taylor & Francis) the WFPC publishes the World Food Preservation Book Series that is comprised of text/reference books on postharvest technologies and methodologies for developing countries; and (3) in conjunction with its "Sister" Universities the WFPC organizes continent-wide postharvest congresses & exhibitions.


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