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Managing Post-harvest Systems. to Enhance Agricultural Productivity. Competitiveness and Markets. in Western and Central Africa. by Dr. Geoffrey C. Mrema. Director Rural Infrastructure and Agro-industries Division Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

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Managing Post-harvest Systems

to Enhance Agricultural Productivity

Competitiveness and Markets

in Western and Central Africa

by Dr. Geoffrey C. Mrema


Rural Infrastructure and Agro-industries Division

Food and Agriculture Organization

of the United Nations (FAO)

effects rise in food prices and financial crisis
Effects rise in food prices and financial crisis
  • Because of high food prices, the import bill for cereals of African countries rose substantially by 49 percent in 2008 alone.
  • The financial crisis led to a slow down in economic growth from 6.0% in 2007 to 5.1% percent in 2008.
structural changes and agro industries development
Structural Changes and Agro-industries Development

Empirical data show that:

  • In agricultural countries that have not undergone a structural transformation, 63% of the value added in the agri-food system was created on the farm.
  • In the USA, by contrast, farming accounted for only 7 percent, with the remaining value being created by input producers, agro-industries, transport firms, retailers, restaurants, and others in the agribusiness system.

Capital Requirements to Overcome Hunger

Cumulative Investments over 44 year period to 2050 in billion US$

Source: Capital Requirements for Agriculture in Developing Countries to 2050, FAO, Rome, 2009

US$ 15 billion/year in additional investment needed

post harvest losses phl
Post-harvest Losses (PHL)
  • Assuming very conservative estimates of quantitative PHL of 10% in cereals, 30 percent in fruits & vegetables and 20% in root & tubers, and using 2007 production data for the 22 CORAF/WECARD countries, quantitative losses in the region are:
    • 5.37 million tonnes of cereals
    • 2.43 million tonnes of fruits and vegetables and
    • 27.59 million tonnes of roots and tubers
  • This amounts to a total monetary value of US$17.46 billion.
regional and local market opportunities
Regional and Local Market Opportunities
  • Demand for agricultural commodities and high-value products across Africa is expected to grow from US$ 50 billion in 2000 to US$150 billion in 2030.
  • The potential income that farmers could derive at the farm level from increased trade in domestic and cross-border markets is expected to grow to US$30 billion in 2030;
  • Developing the necessary market links could increase rural incomes by up to another $60 billion.
population figures for coraf wecard countries
Population Figures for CORAF/WECARD Countries
  • Population of the 22 countries considered together will increase from current level of 417 million to 527 million in 2020 and over 883 million in 2050.
  • By 2020, an equal number of the population will live in rural and urban areas.
  • Beyond 2020, the urban population is projected to rapidly outgrow the population in rural areas.
  • By 2050, 67% of the region’s population will live in urban areas.
africa in global trade and value addition
Africa in Global Trade and Value Addition
  • African countries contribute less than 10% to global value addition.
  • Africa’s share in world agricultural trade declined from 15% in the 1960s to 5.4% in the 1980s and 3.2% in 2006.
  • Africa’s international trade is dominated by primary commodity exports - almost 60% of total export value, remaining 40% being fuels/petroleum.
  • Non-fuel primary commodity exports, agricultural products account for more than 25% of trade revenues
  • Intra-African trade barely 10% of Africa’s total agricultural trade.
  • Intra-regional exports averaging US$ 3.8 billion between 2000 and 2005 while imports of agricultural commodities from outside Africa averaged US$ 33 billion.
rice import figures
Rice Import Figures


Source: World Grain Statistics (2007), International Grain Council, London (August 2008)

key intervention areas
Key Intervention Areas

Four main areas of support are essential for development of post-production agro-enterprises and agro-industries:

  • Enabling policies & public goods;
  • Value chain skills & technologies;
  • Post-production institutions & services;
  • Reinforced financing & risk mitigation mechanisms
enabling policies and provision of public goods
Enabling policies and provision of public goods
  • Sector Strategies & Plans;
  • Legal and Regulatory Frameworks;
  • Grades & Standards;
  • Agricultural Mechanization;
  • Markets & Trade Infrastructure;
  • National & Regional Trade Policies
skills technologies
Skills & technologies
  • Development of skills & technologies needed for post-production segments of agricultural value chains should address:
  • Producer, Commodity & Industry Associations;
  • Value Chains Facilitation;
  • Business Development Services
  • Producer & SME Skills Building;
  • Technology Development & Transfer;
  • Vocational, Business & University Training
innovative institutions and public services
Innovative Institutions and Public Services
  • Contract Farming & Out-grower Schemes;
  • Business Incubators, Hubs & Clusters;
  • Research, Technology & Agro-Food Parks;
  • Product Labeling & Certification Schemes;
  • Commodity Exchanges & Market Information
finance risk mitigation
Finance & Risk Mitigation
  • Public-Private Partnerships
  • Loan Guarantees
  • Investment Funds
  • Value Chain Finance
  • Risk Mitigation Products

HLCD-3A Co-organizers

  • Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Hosts)
  • African Union Commission (AUC)
  • African Development Bank (AfDB)
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
  • International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
  • United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)
  • United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)


To increase private sector investment flows going into the agriculture sector in Africa by mobilizing resources for agribusiness & agro-industrial development from domestic, regional & international financial systems

3ADI Main Objective


3ADI - What the Initiative will do?

  • Specifically the Initiative will:
    • Leverage current attention to agriculture in Africa to accelerate the development of agribusiness & agro-industries sectors that ensure value-addition to Africa’s agricultural products;
    • Support a well coordinated effort to share knowledge & harmonize programmes in ways that capture synergies, avoid fragmented efforts, & enhance developmental impacts;
    • Support an investment programme that will significantly increase proportion of agricultural produce in Africa that is transformed into differentiated high-value products.