The Food Connection Challenge: creative solutions for post-harvest losses

Rosanna Martucci
By on May 30, 2016

The Food Connection Challenge has been launched as an initiative of the Food and Business Knowledge Platform, BoP Innovation Center and Crosswise Works with the support of Inclusive Business Accelerator to contribute to solve post-harvest issues in Ghana.

About a third of the food produced worldwide does not reach the market due to bottlenecks in the supply chain, such as lack of adequate storage and transport possibilities. This is a central issue especially in developing countries like Ghana, where these losses amount on average to 35%, weighing on business production potential, profitability, and the overall agricultural sector.

The organizers of this challenge believe that despite the centrality of such an issue, post-harvest problems in value chains are not sufficiently addressed. At the same time, they think the knowledge and technological expertise in the Dutch agricultural sector can valuably contribute to finding innovative solutions adapted to the local context in Ghana.

The Food Connection Challenge aims at allowing the companies taking part in the challenge to think creatively and actively engage in finding concrete, adapted solutions to post-harvest losses. The challenge will link agribusinesses in Ghana struggling with handling, storing, processing, cleaning, grading and transporting food products, with Dutch companies providing technological or service-oriented products in the agriculture & food sector.

How it works:

Applicants in Ghana will be matched with Dutch companies. Multidisciplinary teams of students from business, technical and developmental universities in the Netherlands will support the parties in finding adequate practical solutions adapted to the local context.
The best solution will be assisted in securing funding to be implemented in a pilot. All Ghanaian companies participating will become part of an online international business community connecting over 2000 entrepreneurs interacting with each other, starting new ventures and attracting interested investors.
Through matching business cases in Ghana with Dutch companies, the Food Connection challenge will facilitate mutual understanding and exchange and will increase reciprocal interest. Moreover, the Food Connection Challenge is a unique opportunity for companies in Ghana and the Netherlands to work together towards innovative scalable solutions applicable to the Ghanaian context.

Key steps of the Food Connection Challenge:

1) Agribusinesses in Ghana create a profile and fill in the registration form. Registration is open from May 1st to May 31st.
2) June: A limited number of Ghanaian companies is selected based on pre-defined criteria. Dutch companies providing suitable services or products for these selected Ghanaian applicants are identified and matched with business cases in Ghana.
3) July and August: Students are selected from Dutch universities and multidisciplinary teams are formed.
4) September to November: Teams work to develop “fit-for-purpose solutions” that suit both the Ghanaian and the Dutch business interest.
5) End of November: The best solution is officially announced in a public event in the Netherlands.

Contact Eva Rootmensen at eva@crosswiseworks.nl or Rosanna Martucci: martucci@bopinc.org

Do you know Ghanaian companies interested in taking part in the challenge and reduce their food losses? Get them on board!