Assisting African Food Processors to Deliver Quality, Nutritious Foods

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Food processing is an important driver of jobs and incomes in many African countries and can also provide access to greater diversity of affordable, high quality and nutritious foods. By improving the capacity of local food processors across sub-Saharan Africa to produce and market healthy food products, while simultaneously improving smallholder farmers’ access to markets, food security for both producers and consumers can be strengthened.

The African Alliance for Improved Food Processing (AAIFP) is an innovative approach to build the capabilities of local food processors in Africa. Through knowledge and technology transfer, the aim is to build capacity to develop sustainable and competitive local processors within food sector value chains, to improve the supply of high-quality, nutritious food and to increase demand for the crops of small farmers who supply these businesses. This in turn spurs economic growth in rural areas that had little to no previous cash economy.

The Alliance is built upon a partnership with General Mills, one of the world’s leading food companies and their newly formed initiative, Partners in Food Solutions, and TechnoServe, and the initiative is funded by USAID.

Volunteer employees of General Mills, and in the future other global food companies, contribute their time and knowledge and with their support, TechnoServe provides on the ground technical and business capacity-building to food processors selling products in local and regional markets. These African processors buy raw materials from local farmers, create jobs and generate benefits for whole communities.

Since 2008, General Mills has been providing assistance to processors and two years later, in 2010, TechnoServe and General Mills joined forces to assist food processors in Tanzania. The partnership has identified potential further opportunities to extend their work to Kenya, Zambia, Ethiopia and Malawi.

The results are already visible. In Tanzania, a processor’s products recently received the highest Tanzania food quality certification available. This not only increases their own profits, but also provides access to safer and more nutritious food for Tanzanians. By the end of 2012, the AAIFP hope to assist up to 35 processors to meet national food standards, and in turn help to increase the affordability of nutritious food products available to African consumers.

3 responses to “Assisting African Food Processors to Deliver Quality, Nutritious Foods

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  2. Zole Emmanuel Williams

    Food Processing is very vital in improving the quality and shell life of food produced. with improved quality and shelf life, processors can make more money and supply during period of scarsity.

    but processing should not be limited to large scale industrial processing in urban areas by investors or people who have financial muscle. the farmers often get peanuts for the unprocessed food they sale to the processors and middle.If we are to fight real poverty in the rural and farming communities in Sub Sharan Africa, we should promote small scale processing at the rural level where basic infrastures like electricity to power the small machines and good roads to improve on mobility by transporters and traders is lacking.

    To address this,emphasis should be put on strentghening Public – Private and Farmer partnerships to set the system started and sustanined.

  3. alem

    Finally i am so happy to read that Food Processing is very vital in improving the quality and shell life of food produced in Africa. There is a big discussion on how to scale up the production of food but i feel we are also undermining the loss of food produced either due to luck of knowledge or luck of finacial support on how to preserve to improve the self life and bring to market when required.

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