The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Agriculture and Infrastructure Investment Company (AIIC), Mohammed V. Kamara, has called for a single database system to be used in the African continent in order to address post-harvest losses faced by smallholder farmers.
Mr. Kamara made the recommendation to the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) following his return from the 2nd All Africa Post Harvest Congress and Exhibition held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
He said using a single database system will track the progress and challenges in the post-harvest loss that could move the continent forward in food production.
The 2nd All Africa Post Harvest Congress and Exhibition form part of efforts and response to AU head of states' commitment to the 2014 Malabo Declaration on food and nutrition security which required the reduction of post-harvest losses by 50% by 2025 which is also in response to the United Nation Sustainable Development Goal (SDG), which called for having per capital global waste at the retail and consumer level and reducing food losses along production supply chain by 2030.
Mr. Kamara said it was unfortunate to discover at the conference since the Malabo Declaration to reduce post-harvest losses in Africa, Liberia has not submitted any report to the AU up to the recent conference.
The Malabo Declaration calls for every African government to allot 10 percent in their respective national budget annually for agriculture to address post-harvest loss and other issues.
According to him, because Liberia could not submit its report to the AU, the country has lost many opportunities.
"I saw it important to attend the congress because it was in line with our scope of work in the agricultural sector. I decided to take the privilege to participate in the self-sponsored trip as it relates to my participation," he said.
He stated that the reduction in post-harvest losses has become a serious concern across the globe, especially Africa, because the continent is yet to fully address the challenge.
"I know that Liberia still has challenges when it comes to technology and infrastructure to address post-harvest issues. This is why during the conference I met with some groups that are willing to come to Liberia through the MoA, to sit and discuss how they can build the agricultural sector. We still have the lack of storage facilities, bad road conditions, which are challenges the government needs to address to reduce post-harvest loss," he said.
The AIIC CEO said he was able to convey a meeting with the secretariat of the AU, and they agreed to come to Liberia during the first or second week in January, to ensure that the relationship is strengthened as it relates to the the implementation of the Malabo Declaration by the country.
"We are also recommending to the government to introduce courses at various universities and colleges so that students studying agriculture can learn more about the challenges of post-harvest loss," he said.