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Innovators urged to participate in post harvest losses challenge

By Standard Reporter | Published Sat, December 31st 2016 at 00:00, Updated December 30th 2016 at 23:52 GMT +3
Rice farmer affected by post harvest losses in Mwea irrigation scheme. (Photo: Munene Kamau/Standard)

The University of Nairobi will organise a high profile conference on post-harvest losses. The 1st All Africa Post-harvest Congress and Exhibition’s theme is “Reducing Food Losses and Waste: Sustainable Solutions for Africa”. It will be held from March 28 to 31 next year.

The congress is the first of its kind in Africa and will provide a platform for diverse stakeholders in the food supply chain including farmers, innovators and entrepreneurs.

The main strategic partner in the congress organisation is Rockefeller Foundation.

To create interest and hype around the congress, the Inter Region Economic Network (IREN) is coordinating a competition in partnership with the USAid East Africa Trade and Investment Hub and Syngenta.

“We are delighted to host this exciting new challenge and would like to invite all post-harvest technology innovators from all East African countries to enter this game-changing competition,” said IREN Chief executive Officer James Shikwati.

He added: “This competition will enable us identify a range of technologies that have the potential to help the continent confront and counter the huge challenges in post-harvest management.”

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IREN welcomes entries featuring post harvest innovations and technologies that demonstrate potential for scale-up and wider dissemination from institutions, innovators, researchers and individuals aged 18 and above from the East African member countries namely Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.

Successful applicants will undergo training on how to package and pitch their ideas to investors to scale up dissemination capabilities of their technology to a wider market.

The top 10 contestants will be invited to showcase their projects at the congress, and get a chance to pitch to potential investors. The top three contestants will receive a cash award amounting to 30,000 US dollars seed fund. Application forms, competition guidelines, and awards information are available on the competition website, or email profiles to [email protected] The forms are also available at the website for the 1st All Africa Postharvest Congress and Exhibition.