Currently, more than 40 percent of fruits and vegetables in developing regions spoil before they can be consumed. Post-harvest loss reduces the income of small-holder farmers by 15 percent. To address this problem, in 2016 The Rockefeller Foundation launched YieldWise Food Loss—focused on reducing food loss by focusing on fruits, vegetables, and staple crops in Kenya, Nigeria, and Tanzania—countries where up to half of all food grown is lost.
Our strategy concentrates on four opportunities:
- Fixing broken links in the chain from farms to markets in African communities: We are training and aggregating farmers and facilitating buyer agreements between farmer groups and multinational companies like Coca-Cola and Cargill, guaranteeing farmers steady access to new local and global markets.
- Helping farmers access technologies and solutions to curb preventable crop loss: We are working with companies like Dangote Farms Limited to build processing industries and the government of Tanzania to supply proper storage solutions—like metal silos and hermetic cocoons—to smallholder farmers.
- Investing in financing models and technology innovations that drive mutual economic growth: In Kenya, Nigeria, and Tanzania, we are helping equipment manufacturers promote the use of mobile processing, solar-drying, and cold storage units to extend the shelf life of the crops.
- Engaging global businesses in accounting for the food lost and wasted in their supply chains, beyond their own factories: We are creating the tools businesses need to measure and track supply chain loss, which will encourage accountability, strengthen supply chains, and increase profits.
Across each of these opportunities, we have approached the private sector as a key partner and collaborator.
Our early results are encouraging, indicating loss reduction of between 20 – 30 percent, according to maize and mango catalytic demonstrations.
More farmers are connected to various market channels, which have provided assured markets for their produce. YieldWise Food Loss is currently working with approximately 200,000 farmers, looking to engage millions in Africa to improve their livelihoods.
This has also contributed to a high uptake and utilization of loss-reducing technologies across the three value chains: maize, mango, and tomato in Tanzania, Kenya, and Nigeria respectively.
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