Processing Food For Healthier Communities

To achieve food self-sufficiency in Africa, we need to shift to more sustainable patterns of production and consumption in the agricultural sector.

This is the conviction of Moses Agboola, who works as an accountant at SALCO industry, a processing plant for agro-commodities like soybeans, sorghum, and sesame. With his field experience processing soybeans into soy cake and crude soy oil for healthy consumption, he believes the focus of every product should be sustainability — the efficient management of resources to create less waste, prevent post-harvest losses whilst enabling a fair exchange for everyone involved in the value chain.

Moses’ ambition is not far from the truth. According to FAO, about 14% of food losses were recorded from post-harvest to distribution in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2016. As an aggregator in agriculture, AFEX’s activities with processors like SALCO focus on reducing food loss from post-harvest to distribution underpinned by a robust storage infrastructure to prevent post-harvest loss during harvesting as well as to reduce waste along the value chain.

“ Our relationship with AFEX started in 2016 when SALCO’s supplier for soybeans. Here, we have the best machines in cleaning, processing, refineries, and tanks to enable healthy food consumption and reduce food waste at supply chains. And this aligns with AFEX’s mission towards responsible consumption and production. We need to produce enough of just what we need and preserve others in a sustainable way for the future generation.

With our machines set for operations, we clean, crush and refine soybeans into soy cake and crude soy oil. Then we package them to sell to off-takers, poultry farmers at a fair price. The end-product is NAFDAC approved.” He shares.

On the journey towards achieving responsible consumption and production by 2030, AFEX is putting in deliberate measures in ensuring food production practices are environmentally friendly and look into sustainable alternatives for chemicals currently being used by farmers.

What’s needed, as Moses explains, is to find the best strategies to overcome challenges that inhibit the production process.

“We need to scale up investments in infrastructures like adequate storage, constant power supply, and efficient supply chains that can help the way we produce and consume commodities to create less waste and deliver larger social-economic and environmental benefits to farmers, suppliers, processors, and consumers. AFEX is right on track with these infrastructures, with more hands-on-deck from the public sector, we can achieve more.”

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