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Sustainable Food Systems in Focus at 10th African Grain Summit

sustainable food systems in focus at 10th african grain summit
sustainable food systems in focus at 10th african grain summit

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Grain farmers, traders, and producers are set to meet with large-scale processors, buyers, and exporters of grains from across Africa at the upcoming 10th African Grain Summit.

The summit is scheduled to take place in Kampala, Uganda, from the 5th to the 7th of October, hosted at the Speke Resort Munyonyo. The event revolves around the theme of ‘Defining Africa’s Place in Global Grain Trade for Sustainable Food Systems.’

A significant aspect of the summit will be a special matchmaking session where buyers will engage with producers. During this session, buyers will clarify their requirements in terms of grain quality and quantity, as well as provide insights on proper handling methods to ensure adherence to required standards.

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The African Grain Summit serves as a prominent international conference within the grain industry. It brings together business leaders, policymakers, and key stakeholders from both Africa and beyond to address critical issues and emerging trends within the grain sector.

Among the topics to be discussed during the summit are advancements in grain technology, particularly in the areas of soil health and solutions for ensuring high-quality grains.

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Despite Uganda’s reputation for high agricultural yields, a substantial amount of food goes to waste due to inadequate handling practices. According to the Economic Policy Research Centre in Uganda, food losses and wastage primarily result from poor post-harvest handling and the lack of suitable food infrastructure throughout the harvest and post-harvest processes.

For instance, issues arise during preparation stages, such as inadequate drying leading to excessive moisture content, improper storage, transportation, and processing methods. Many farmers still rely on outdated methods like drying on uncovered ground, storing grains in sacks or directly on the ground, manual shelling, and beating. These practices make agricultural produce vulnerable to discoloration, contamination by foreign matter, termite damage, mold growth, and debris accumulation.

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Additionally, using inappropriate storage materials, such as non-hermetic bags, exposes stored produce to risks like storage pests (e.g., rodents, weevils, termites), mold contamination, aflatoxin development, and insect frass.