SBFT participation to a new European Union Framework 7 funded project
During the period of March 12-16, 2012, Prof To Kim Anh, SBFT director, has led the SBFT delegation to participate to the kick-off meeting of a new European Union Framework 7 funded project entitled “Gains from Losses of Roots and Tuber Crops – Gratitude” at the Natural Resources Institute (NRI), University of Greenwich, in Chatham, United Kingdom.
Cassava and yam are important food security crops for approximately 700 million people. However, physical and economic losses that occur after harvest during processing and marketing can be as high as 60%. This is not only detrimental to food security and the environment, but also opportunities to increase the value of these crops are lost.
A new European Union Framework 7 funded project entitled ‘Gratitude’ (Gains from Losses of Roots and Tuber Crops) led by the Natural Resources Institute (NRI), University of Greenwich, will help find solutions that will reduce waste from post-harvest losses of root and tuber crops and turn unavoidable waste into something of value. Led by the Natural Resources Institute of the University of Greenwich, ‘Gratitude’ began this year with a project value of €3.75m, the majority from the EU Framework 7.
NRI scientists and economists will collaborate with 15 organisations in Europe (UK, the Netherlands and Portugal), Africa (Ghana and Nigeria) and Asia (Vietnam and Thailand). Working together, the project team will help to enable produces and processors in Asia and Africa make safe and marketable cassace and yam food products using every part of the harvested tubes in a more environmentally friendly way that will increase the crop overall value.
Gratitude partners’ picture during the kick off meeting at the Historic Dockyard of Chatham
The project aims to develop profitable uses of the currently discarded waste products of cassava and yam (such as peel, liquid waste and spent brewery waste) and to reduce physical and economic losses in the existing systems by up to 50%. Issues of food safety, enterprise development and practical demonstrations are important components of the project.
Technologies and systems developed and validated within the Gratitude project will particularly benefit small-holder households, will support small and medium scale enterprises to increase profitability, create new jobs and develop links to large-scale industries. The project will therefore help improve the livelihoods of people on low incomes and enhance the role that these crops play in food and income security.
Private and public sector organisations from Thailand, Vietnam, Ghana, Nigeria, the Netherlands, Portugal and the UK came together at the Natural Resources Institute, in Kent UK in March 12-16, 2012 to launch the new European Union Framework 7 funded project ‘Gratitude’ (Gains from Losses of Roots and Tuber Crops), and to begin the planning phase.
During the launch, which took place in the Historic Dockyard of Chatham in the vicinity of the WW2 battleship HMS Cavalier, presentations were given from the leaders of each research area. Project participants gained a clearer understanding of each of the project’s research objectives and how they all interact. The importance of monitoring and evaluation, and gender, were well demonstrated, and communications within the project were discussed.
The research areas that are the focus of the project cover the assessment and management of value chains, the development of alternative and new markets, reducing postharvest losses of fresh produce, adding value to waste products, food safety and quality, and demonstrating technologies with beneficiaries. Some areas are cross cutting, for example: dissemination and support to replication, and management, monitoring and evaluation. The project will also encourage increased collaboration between southern partners.
Prof To Kim Anh led the discussion of the WP3 ”Alternative market development to reduce postharvest losses”
SBFT will lead the work package 3 (WP3) ”Alternative market development to reduce postharvest losses” and participate to WP1 “Value Chain Assessment and Management”, WP4 “Adding value to waste products” WP5 “Food Safety, Quality and Compliance”, WP6 “Demonstration of technologies with beneficiaries”, WP7 “Dissemination and support to replication”
More information can be obtained on the Gratitude project website:
School of Biotechnology and Food Technology.
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