Industry Forum: Food Processing and Orange Fleshed Sweet Potato in Africa
Africa’s food systems and industry are changing rapidly to meet the demands of a growing and dynamic population. Sweet potato is a big part of this story. Grown by over 50 million farmers, it is one of Africa’s fastest expanding crops. Over the past 10 years, the International Potato Center (CIP), in collaboration with national research institutes and with support from United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and other donors, has developed and promoted nutritious, biofortified OFSP varieties in Africa. In Malawi alone, over 100,000 farmers grow six of these vitamin-A rich varieties.
While the nutrition benefits are well known in countries like Malawi, commercial processing of OFSP has just begun. Like their colleagues in the United States and Asia, African food processors might build a vibrant industry by using OFSP in a variety of products, from baked goods to baby food, provided that key constraints are resolved.
The OFSP Industry Forum will bring together early adopters in the food industry, the service sector industry, and technical experts to share their experiences with OFSP, ask questions about new opportunities, and network across countries and sectors. This Forum will test the emerging case for industrial OFSP use and identify key constraints where donor and public support is needed to take OFSP processing in Africa to scale. Learning from early adopters and technical experts will stress-test and strengthen the case, so it can be taken to larger processors in next steps. We expect participants from several 10 African countries and the United States. The event will feature research and industry presentations, expert discussion groups, and networking.
Of course, we will have a rich selection of OFSP foods from several countries to sample!
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The provisional agenda may be seen here (forthcoming); interested parties can register here.