Home News Knowledge and skills in value addition and food preservation reduce food waste

Knowledge and skills in value addition and food preservation reduce food waste

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WFP, with funding from UNAIDS, recently implemented value-addition initiatives in the regions of Zambezi, Oshana, and Oshikoto. The programme reached over 600 individuals (27 percent male, 73 percent female), including smallholder farmers, people living with HIV/AIDS, youth, women, and pregnant and breastfeeding women.

The training, which was conducted by the University of Namibia, focused on various value addition and food preservation techniques that could be employed by smallholder farmers. Participants were taught how to produce ketchup and jam from tomatoes, as well as how to use solar dryers for food preservation. The latter technique involves drying spinach, butternut, and onions – an effective method for extending the shelf life of these perishable foods.

In addition to practical skills, the training also emphasized the importance of other key factors in food waste prevention. This included the significance of WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) practices, the value of a balanced diet, and the crucial role of breastfeeding during the first 1000 days of a child’s life.

The Ondera food systems project has made significant progress in its journey towards achieving self-reliance and sustainability. With the support of WFP since 2021, the community successfully cultivated and sold 12 tonnes of wheat for the first time, thereby creating a valuable source of income. In the subsequent phase of expansion, the community planted and harvested 9.5 tons of maize and established a chicken coop by investing their own funds to accommodate over 200 broilers. These collective endeavours represent crucial steps taken towards eliminating hunger and fostering food self-reliance in Namibia.

During the reporting period, the Berseba Integrated Food Systems Project received practical training from agriculture extension officers of the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform. The training focused on important aspects of sustainable agriculture, including crop rotation, irrigation, and pest control. To overcome the challenging climate of the region and achieve high yields, the project implemented an irrigation system and established two shade net areas covering a total of 720 square meters. Moreover, the project obtained various agricultural inputs including seeds, fertilizers, insecticides, hardware, and pesticides. As part of the integrated food systems project, a chicken coop was constructed on-site to accommodate 500 layers and increase egg production. This initiative was driven by the local community’s high demand for eggs, which serve as a valuable source of nutrition and income.

The Brazilian Embassy in Namibia, led by H.E Ambassador Vivian Loss Sanmartin along with the Humanitarian Cooperation team from the Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC) led by Minister José Solla, visited two projects supported by the Brazilian government: the Tsumkwe and Epako Clinic Integrated Food Systems Project in Otjozondjupa and Omaheke Region. During the visit, the delegation had the chance to engage regional leadership in additional areas of cooperation.

In line with the African Union’s objective of vaccinating at least 70 percent of the African population with safe and effective vaccines, WFP signed a service-level agreement with the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) and a framework agreement with the Mastercard Foundation.

Through its diverse and global supply chain network, WFP successfully procured 200 temperature monitoring devices, 10 laptops, and 10 monitors, with all the necessary IT accessories. This procurement is just one aspect of the project, which has the potential to significantly contribute towards Namibia’s vaccination targets. With the government’s support, WFP aims to implement the next phase of the project by procuring a warehouse and hiring staff for effective implementation. The procurement is part of WFP’s capacity strengthening to the government and is vital to ensure the seamless and timely delivery of vaccines across Namibia, especially in remote areas.