(Ambassador Malac discusses post harvest technology solutions with Hub-supported young innovators at the East African Farmers Federation Congress in Kampala, Uganda.)
On September 14, U.S. Ambassador to Uganda Deborah R. Malac welcomed East African farmers and agricultural stakeholders to the 4th East African Farmers Federation (EAFF) Congress in Kampala, Uganda. Congress participants discussed new investments in agriculture, partnerships and innovations, regional market integration, and the future role of farmer organizations. Ambassador Malac highlighted the major role that agriculture plays in the lives of East Africans, providing employment for nearly 80 percent of the East African Community and contributing to a quarter or more of each country’s gross domestic product. She also met with Hub-supported young innovators who have solutions for reducing food loss post harvest. Poor post-harvest practices currently result in the loss of 60 percent of all food that is produced in Africa. Through events like the EAFF Congress, young innovators are connecting to the investors and networks they need for scaling up their products for regional impact.
The Hub was a sponsor of the event and used it as a means to introduce the 200 congress participants to young innovators who were finalists in its recent East African Postharvest Technology Competition. The congress participants -- investors, farmers, traders , and donor and government stakeholders – are critical to the adoption and scaling up of the innovators promising post harvest technologies. The adoption of these technologies across East Africa will help reduce post-harvest loss and consequently increase trade in agricultural commodities in the region.
EAFF also used the congress as an opportunity to involve agricultural stakeholders in its 2013 – 2020 strategic framework and to elect a new board.