NIGERIA – The Food Safety for Africa (FS4Africa) project, in collaboration with the Nigerian Stored Products Research Institute (NSPRI) and a consortium of partners, recently hosted the first Postharvest Connect Conference in Abuja, Nigeria.

FS4Africa project is designed to address and mitigate critical food safety issues threatening the continent, with a focus on the informal sector.

With approximately 150 physical participants and over 30 virtual attendees, the conference aimed to foster collaboration among key stakeholders to address postharvest losses and promote food and nutrition security in Nigeria.

The conference witnessed the convergence of eminent personalities from the public, private, and development sectors, including representatives from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (FMAFS), the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), HarvestPlus, the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), and several others.

The Chief Convener, Prof. Lateef Sanni, highlighted the importance of sustainable postharvest management in ensuring food security in his welcome remarks.

Speakers and participants from various institutions, including the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), HarvestPlus, and the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), discussed strategies for mitigating food quantity and quality losses.

Topics ranged from aflatoxin management to the reduction of pesticide residues, with a focus on promoting best practices and innovative solutions.

The Guest of Honor, Senator Aliyu Abdullahi, Honorable Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Security, commended the organizers for their efforts and emphasized the Ministry’s commitment to addressing postharvest losses.

He underscored the importance of reducing postharvest losses as a critical strategy for ensuring food security and called for the adoption of suitable success stories to attract investment in postharvest interventions.

Memorandum of Understanding

The conference also witnessed the unveiling of the joint Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) of the Food Convergence Innovation – Nigeria platform, aimed at addressing food safety issues in Nigeria. This platform, supported by the FS4Africa project, is a multistakeholder initiative designed to promote collaboration and innovation in the food sector.

The FS4Africa exhibition booth attracted several guests, including Senator Aliyu Abdullahi, who were briefed on the project’s initiatives to manage postharvest losses. Information on aflatoxin management, rapid testing methods, and hermetic storage solutions was shared with attendees, along with knowledge materials for further reference.

The inaugural Postharvest Connect Conference in Nigeria served as a platform for stakeholders to exchange ideas, share experiences, and forge partnerships towards achieving food security and sustainability.

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