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Innovations for Agriculture Value Chains in Africa

Leading scientists from across the globe collaborated with African institutions and farmers to identify post-harvest management technologies that reduce value chain inefficiencies—and bring benefits back to smallholder farmers.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, 40% of staple foods are lost before making it to market, creating significant environmental and economic costs. Innovative technologies can effectively stem post-harvest agricultural loss in African crop and livestock value chains. With support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Meridian led a project to develop those new technologies. 

Working closely with scientists, institutions, and smallholder farmers, we identified promising opportunities for impact. We organized a two-week field trip to Kenya and Ghana for 11 scientists, facilitating collaborations with African farmers, entrepreneurs, and companies. The trip produced 25 technically feasible technology ideas that could improve post-harvest agricultural management in Africa—several of which have since been developed and deployed.

As a trusted broker with a deep understanding of post-harvest loss management and close relationships with African partners, Meridian brought stakeholders together to develop feasible technologies. We worked closely with local African partners to generate ideas that would respond to smallholder preferences, while respecting existing efforts to better link smallholder farmers to markets. 

To translate technology ideas into impact on the ground, we also created detailed business concept briefs for products that could increase smallholder farmers’ incomes. A final report documented lessons learned from previous efforts to introduce new technologies. Meridian also developed recommendations for donors about how to accelerate commercialization of post-harvest technology in Sub-Saharan Africa. Learn more by watching the project video here.

Today, many of the technologies developed within this project are providing real-world benefits back to smallholder farmers, primarily by improving the efficiency of post-harvest management techniques. The project’s successes serve as a powerful model for future international partnerships between local country partners, smallholder farmers, scientists, private foundations, and investors.

Project Team

Learn more about the team that led the ­Innovations for Agriculture Value Chains in Africa project.