Each workshop was spaced over a multi-day period in which experts gave presentations on a wide range of issues spanning the horticultural value chain–from low quality inputs, post-harvest loss, and food safety challenges to nutrition, gender equity, and youth empowerment. Participants attended both in-person and online, allowing engagement from people around the globe.
These conferences were unique opportunities for horticultural specialists from throughout East and West Africa to share their diverse perspectives and expertise with one another, and the discussions that resulted will inform priorities for future research, capacity strengthening and sector investment that are designed to target local challenges in horticulture. And the challenges, as well as the opportunities, are significant. As experts discussed in both conferences, smallholder farmers face multiple barriers along the horticultural supply chain. Yet there are also numerous avenues for entrepreneurship—from production to market—that may help overcome some of these obstacles.
ICED CEO/President Dr. David Ameyaw in his opening statement remarked, “We are thrilled to convene sessions like these, which seek to build knowledge and evidence to address the on-ground challenges and identify opportunities for exploration in East Africa. This platform, over the course of the next 3 days would enable us work together, as various actors within the horticulture value chain to make systemic, sustainable improvements in the sector.”