COTE D’IVOIRE – Cote D’Ivoire has embarked on a Post-Harvest Loss (PHL) reduction project worth C$240 million (USD 178 million), that will be predominantly financed by the Canadian side, contributing 60% of the funds.

Harvest losses pose a significant obstacle to agricultural production globally, and in Côte d’Ivoire, this challenge permeates staple foods, spanning cereals, vegetables, and tubers.

Recognizing the urgency of this issue, the Ivorian government, through the Ivorian Society of Tropical Technology (I2T), inked a vital cooperation agreement with a Canadian consortium, represented by Quebec-based firm O5 Technologies.

The overarching objective of the project is to devise and implement a smart, sustainable solution to mitigate losses in agricultural production zones.

Mona Moudallal, Vice President of O5 Technologies, elaborated on the project’s scope, stating, “This project envisions the establishment of several large-scale smart logistics platforms, powered by renewable energy, strategically positioned in identified production areas in collaboration with the Ivorian government.”

“These platforms will facilitate the controlled environment conservation of various agricultural products.”

A feasibility study, slated from May 1 to September 3, 2024, will lay the groundwork for the project. Phase 1 implementation is anticipated to commence from January 15 to October 15, 2025, with an estimated creation of 25,000 jobs in this initial stage.

These efforts are poised to make significant strides in addressing post-harvest losses, which annually afflict approximately 37% of agricultural production across Africa, resulting in economic losses exceeding USD 48 billion, according to the latest FAO data.

In parallel, Côte d’Ivoire, acclaimed as West Africa’s foremost producer of fruits and vegetables over the past two decades, grapples with a harrowing reality: an average annual loss of 15% of its production due to the absence of local processing facilities.

A study conducted by the Center for the Promotion of Investments in Côte d’Ivoire (CEPICI) reveals that a mere 1% of the country’s fruit production undergoes processing.

However, shifting dietary patterns, urbanization trends, and the burgeoning middle-class present opportunities to bolster the consumption of processed fresh products.

Leveraging its strategic positioning and rich history as a fruit exporter, Côte d’Ivoire emerges as a natural nexus for collaboration with entities like HPW Fresh & Dry, Blue Sky, and others from neighboring Ghana.

Moreover, endeavors by companies seeking to venture into processed product manufacturing, encompassing juices, canned goods, and dried and frozen products for regional and global markets, will receive robust backing from initiatives such as the Hortifresh project, which recently commenced operations in Ivory Coast.

These collaborative efforts reflect a concerted push towards enhancing agricultural value chains, fostering economic growth, and harnessing the vast potential of Côte d’Ivoire’s agricultural sector.

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