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Brussels Briefing 52: Elizabeth Nsimadala "The role of Farmers in ensuring safe food in the value chain"

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The Brussels Development Briefing no. 52 on “Food safety: a critical part of the food system in Africa ” took place on 19 September 2018 from 09h00 to 13h00, ACP Secretariat, Brussels 451 Avenue Georges Henri, 1200 Brussels. This Briefing was organised by the ACP-EU Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), in collaboration with the European Commission (DG DEVCO & DG Health and Food Safety), the ACP Secretariat, CONCORD and the Global Food Safety Partnership.

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Brussels Briefing 52: Elizabeth Nsimadala "The role of Farmers in ensuring safe food in the value chain"

  1. 1. Role in ensuring safe food in the value chain – Farmers Perspective By Elizabeth Nsimadala Entrepreneur & President Eastern Africa Farmers Federation BRUSSELS BRIEFINGS BELGIUM September, 2018
  2. 2. Who is EAFF? EAFF Vision A Prosperous and Cohesive Farming Community in Eastern Africa Currently (> 20 million farmers) 10 countries; 23 apex organizations Our scope is the Eastern Africa – Membership scope in EAC; COMESA & IGAD…. -Producer co-operatives; - Commodity Associations; -Women organizations; -Lobby & advocacy based ; • Launched in 2001 - operations from 2005 • Members are producers of crops; livestock; fisheries & Agroforestry
  3. 3. Food safety media reports
  4. 4. Reality of our agriculture
  5. 5. Definition • Wiki difinition: Food safety is about handling, storing and preparing food to prevent infection and help to make sure that our food keeps enough nutrients for us to have a healthy diet. • Means that these principles have to be applied along the value chain – from farm to folk • And this approach applies across both crops and livestock
  6. 6. 1. Responsibility – as a key player in the VC, we have to provide accountability to the VC to ensure sustainable sourcing and incomes to farmers. (IITA estimates that globally, about US$1.2 billion in global commerce is lost annually due to aflatoxin contamination, with African economies losing US$450 million each year (IITA 2013). 2. Value – these days safe food that can be traced pays –(“value of slow foods on Amazon was 13.7B USD”; we have fair trade, global gap, even in premium paying local markets). 3. GAP – good practices exist from the farm, post farm, handling/ traceability (In East Africa post-harvest losses in maize often reach 25%, or more (World Bank Report, 2011) due to diverse forms of contamination. 4. Health conscious consumer – the current market is awash with food health scares (see earlier slide) 5. Technology is here – food quality can be checked at collection points (milk), we now have block chain to ease Traceability. Why farmers should meet food safety standards
  7. 7. Opportunities a) Collaboration and partnerships • With development partners (EU PAEPARD) EAFF developed an extensive livestock strategy looking at agro-pastoral systems; Enhancing them in climate variability; Facilitating market access and Improving value addition. One of the major sub themes is improving livestock feed improving livestock feed resources and feeding packages. • Developed a joint 3 year programme with the Max Rubner (german) institute on aflatoxin starting 2018 b) Capacity building and training • Through e-Granary and other platforms we trained >250,000 farmers on PHL of maize & partnered with Tinga services to provide mobile drying services for maize. • In Tanzania; trained >1000 farmers – a women dairy co-op and Tanga Dairy on pasture and silage management. To prevent /mitigate against aflatoxin contamination in animal feed. • Promoted small livestock i.e. Dairy goats as an alternative source of milk for nutrition compared to Dairy cows.
  8. 8. oppotunities….cont c) Lobbying and advocacy • We contributed to developing an Aflatoxin policy brief that focused mainly on interventions to reduce aflatoxin contamination in milk, meat, eggs, sorghum, maize, wheat. • Participated in the development of the EAC Aflatoxin policy and has been part of the sub committee called Regional Experts Working Group on Aflatoxin (REWGA). • The PACA initiative where we are involved in creating awareness of aflatoxin to the agriculture community, creation of a knowledge bank of work on the same in the continent and engaging policy makers in this debate. • In 2016 petitioned the EAC council of Ministers Chairman on food safety inspection concerns in internal borders – the lack of equipment to test aflatoxin or livestock isolation areas, and the low capacity in numbers and skill to do this, currently we have the one-stop-border post now implemented in most of the internal borders and we shall be making a visit to inspect if this has improved. • We seat in the EAC standards setting committee
  9. 9. Challenges • Market Incentives: Most domestic markets are not well organized therefore offer no incentive for farmers to invest and produce good quality produce for local markets. • Linkage to public health at national level: there has been a disconnect between agriculture and public health ministries; when there is a clear co-relation between a majority of current diseases and the changes in environment. There is need to be able to link these two sectoral ministries to ensure safe food to consumers from farm to fork especially for domestic markets (not just export). • Alternative use of contaminated food products: While there are varying ways of using contaminated food, very little research has been done to explore this possibility especially afflatoxin contaminated. There is need to explore this further the alternative uses e.g. making of glue, alternative source of energy etc.
  10. 10. Challenges • Knowledge and technology uptake; the funding to promote food safety is insufficient hence many farmers are not aware of food safety and technologies that can improve the quality of food they produce. • Regional/ international agreements are either partially or not honored at country level e.g. the EAC Standards, Quality, Meterology & Testing (SQMT); anti-dumping regulations etc this creates avenues and risks for food safety. • Adhoc government policies – e.g. recent un-warranted increase in VAT on pest control products in Kenya may create avenues for use of adulterated products thus increasing risk of food safety while trying to remain competitive. • Resources (financial and human) – EAFF is certain that we can achieve food safety and with its new digital platform “eGranary” we have demonstrated that, we seek more partnerships to scale it up, integrate more new technology e.g. block chain and build capacity of farmers on responsible farming.
  11. 11. Conclusion EAFF believes that we still need to do more work in creating awareness to all value chain actors starting from the consumer down to the farmer; • There is need to access affordable pro-poor farm screening kits, drying and storage technology to manage any food safety related organisms at the farm. • Develop an food safety management protocols from farm to folk adapted for local markets and train farmers on the same. • Incentivise local production & markets by supporting more local value chain partnerships through innovative financing models. • Need more funding from development partners and governments to allocate significant yearly budgets on food safety programs • Need to engage policy makers with more evidence and analytics. • Invest more in enforcement and monitoring mechanism at internal borders of agreed SQMT measures. .
  12. 12. Thank you CONTACTS: info@eaffu.org; www.eaffu.org rhapta road – westlands; Nairobi; Tel: +254 20 445 1691 .