Promotion & Advertising
- Published on Friday, 02 March 2012 00:50
- Written by Staff Reporter
ITALY - In 2020 Africa will feed Europe - a possibility as well as an objective that can be achieved, provided politics and technology share this as a common purpose and processing and packaging play key roles in this project, according to key experts speaking at IPACK-IMA.
At the "Enhancing Food Safety and Food Security in Africa" conference on 1 March at IPACK-IMA (28 February – 3 March, fieramilano, Milan, Italy), UN agencies and industry players discussed the importance of securing food supplies and preventing food loss.
In Africa, where over 60% of foodstuffs is lost due to the lack of adequate packaging and preservation techniques, technologies such as those on display at IPACK-IMA is very much essential in providing solutions to these large problems.
"Africa can feed the world. Italy can give fundamental contribution through its technology. I believe in this," said Côte d'Ivoire national Kandeh Yumkella, Director-General of UNIDO, who warned that the alternative is not an option.
“If Africa continues to be exploited as a mere reservoir of raw materials, of which it owns 90% of the world’s total, we must prepare for a massive, overwhelming migration of young people deprived of work and food,” Yumkella noted. “If, on the other hand, we start a virtuous circle of assistance, cooperation and creation of local added value based on food and agricultural production, this will not only benefit Europe and Africa but the entire world.”
One of the crucial issues highlighted by Yumkella is the deterioration of foodstuffs due to the lack of adequate practices and technology supporting food production and processing: “Western countries are faced with three great emergencies: an increasingly challenging energy supply situation, rising pollution levels and growing prices of agricultural raw materials.
“All these issues can be addressed through the cooperation with producer countries, chiefly aimed at reducing waste through technology.”
According to the experts speaking at the conference, Africa is a leader in the production of dozens of food products, has 60% of the world’s unfarmed land and has been least affected by soil pollution. These three conditions make the continent the region holding the highest agricultural development potential over the next years. Yumkella is confident Africa can provide food and bioenergy for the entire planet.
This positive perspective is shared by Richard Sezibera, Secretary General of the East African Council gathering Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi: “This is potentially a win-win situation, which overturns the idea behind free grants and replaces them with business opportunities for everyone”.
Bringing advanced packaging technology to East Africa
To help the continent secure the technology and knowledge it needs to feed itself adequately, as well as help provide additional supplies to the rest of the world, IPACK-IMA is organizing a conference in the East Africa.
In 2014, UNIDO (represented by Secretary General Kandeh Yumkella) and the African institution will flank IPACK-IMA in the organization of the first food packaging and processing exhibition in East Africa.
The announcement came from East African Community Secretary General Richard Sezibera at the close of the international conference “Enhancing Food Safety and Food Security in Africa”.
Recognizing that Africa holds extraordinary opportunities yet to be exploited, a remarkable growth potential and can count on endless resources, IPACK-IMA explained its view that Africa needs cooperation, a sound technological culture and effective equipment.
Hence, IPACK-IMA is organizing an international convention on food safety in East Africa, followed by the region’s first exhibition the following year, which will bring the technology best capable of developing Africa’s huge production potential
"Unlike what happened in China and India, Italians have the priceless opportunity to outrace Germany to Africa,” commented Ipack-Ima Spa CEO Guido Corbella. “The results of this international conference and, more generally, the excellent performance of our industry clearly show we are on the right track.
“Food safety and food security are two sensitive topics of great current interest,” he added, “and IPACK-IMA is increasingly committed to champion them, also in view of the EXPO 2015".