African Development

By: Digivu  11-11-2011

Friday, October 7th, 2011

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Sunday, June 5th, 2011

This 2004 report gives some interesting information on cooked food vending in Lusaka and Harare which accommodate 5 355 and 1 100 businesses. The size of the sector in Harare was felt to be growing because of the difficult economic situation but constrained law enforcement situation.

Other interesting numbers are that in Lusaka cooked food vending creates jobs for 16,000 people, serves more than 81 million meals of nshima and beef stew per year, and makes an annual profit of approximately £5.5 million pounds.

That should interest innovative food processors!

The report, for those interested in development work and training, should be an interesting view of how projects are run with many stakeholders and the format of the training that is required to influence large sectors.

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Thursday, May 26th, 2011

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Saturday, May 21st, 2011

note: this is first in a series of second hand dealer websites I have found on the INTERNET and not a recommendation.

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Friday, May 6th, 2011

The book covers cultivated and wild fruits in two parts. Each part presents general information on the fruits’s potential role in addressing issues such as Malnutrition, Food Security, Rural Development and Sustainable Landcare. The part on Wild Fruit also covers particular issues such as
Increasing Wild Fruit Usage, Developing Wild Fruits, Nutrition, Sustainable Forestry and Social Difficulties.

Both parts then cover a large number of fruits separately and in detail.

The cultivated fruit section covers Balanites (Balanites aegyptiaca), Baobab (Adansonia digitata), Butterfruit (Dacryodes edulis), Carissa (Carissa species), Horned Melon (Cucumis metulifer), Kei Apple (Dovyalis caffra), Marula (Sclerocarya birrea), Melon(Cucumis melo), Tamarind (Tamarindus indica) and Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus).

While the wild fruits include Aizen, Chocolate Berries, Custard Apples, Ebony, Gingerbread Plums, Gumvines, Icacina, Imbe (Garcinia livingstonii). Medlars, Monkey Oranges, Star Apples, Sugarplum, Sweet Detar (Detarium senegalense) and Tree Grapes.

Each fruit is covered in detail with abundant drawing and photographs and information on all aspects from cultivation to utilisation.

This is an amazing resource which an enormous amount of detail.

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Friday, April 22nd, 2011

This paper published in African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development (AJFAND) reaveals the simple constraints which seem to apply to much of food distribution in Africa.

The paper addressed the socioeconomic importance of indigenous vegetables, the potential for leafy green vegetables in Cameroon and post harvest losses and processing. Amongst its conclusions are:

The low capital requirements for getting into this market and the relative lack of barriers also meant that this was a competitive market, and earnings were thus, generally low.

Because appropriate packaging was not available, transportation and handling caused physical damage that later resulted in losses.

The sun- dried vegetables were not appealing to consumers because the appearance was unattractive due to re-wetting during drying and possible contamination by flying objects and domestic livestock.

Producing and marketing indigenous vegetables in Cameroon hold great promise to provide a livelihood to the rural and peri-urban poor families through providing employment, and can contribute significantly towards poverty alleviation and food

An informative paper, but does it highlight something about how we in Africa ignore simple things like some packaging and a bit of evaporative cooling storage – are we too unconcerned about quality or does the consumer just not have the money or are we just too lazy. It doesn’t seem to be the money issue because the South African Supermarkets seem to making good business by filling the niche or quality vegetables!

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Friday, April 8th, 2011

In a previous post we covered General Mill’s Innovation Network which is aimed at brining partners into their company’s research system.

Now an interesting call from General Mills has made it into the press.

Besides being able to pass the opportunity on to those of our subscribers who might be interested in microwave/food interactions, I find it interesting what the call tells about General Mills product strategy.

The research is into the development of packaging and food grade edible materials which can reflect microwaves and a solution that can block conductive heat transfer between adjacent hot and frozen components of a food. Combining and alternating such layers would in my view allow the construction of a microwavable Gâteau Norvégien. This, which I guess is what the USA calls Baked Alaskan, is a cake filled with ice cream that is traditionally flambéed before eating. With the technology in place I suspect there are all sorts of other possibilities!

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Sunday, April 3rd, 2011

This has much of the makings of a really good initiative. It is a non profit organisation established by General Mills from it’s Corporate Social Responsibility programme.

It links the technical and business expertise of volunteer employees at General Mills, Cargill and DSM to small and medium-sized mills and food processors in the developing world to

  • improve the ability of those companies to produce high-quality, nutritious and safe food at affordable prices
  • to increase demand for the crops of small-holder farmers who supply those businesses
  • to build a vibrant, sustainable food supply chain
  • After local processors have identified companies and their needs, volunteers are deployed to assist selected African food processing companies in

  • Determining the best nutritional mix based on local ingredients.
  • Developing new products that are locally sourced.
  • Designing facilities and food processing systems.
  • Creating high-performance packaging for storage and sales.
  • Improving quality and food processing procedures.
  • Enhancing food safety throughout the entire value chain.
  • Developing expertise in areas such as market assessment, strategy and finance.
  • Improving marketing, distribution and other aspects of getting products to end-consumers.
  • The concept of the rich multinational giving time and experience to poorer African food processors offers real potential for economic growth and poverty elimination. I intend to follow up a bit on this with further posts, but would very much like to hear of your experience with Partners in Food Solutions.

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    Monday, March 28th, 2011

    This started out as a real one man enterprise launched by a Greek in South Africa who saw that speciality Greek foods were difficult to come by.

    Mediterranean Delicasies is a business born out of necessity. Thirty years ago, Tony Nichas was working in the chemical business. He was Greek and, by default, loved to cook.

    The problem was that in the 1990s SA was in the grip of severe trade sanctions and many Greek ingredients were virtually impossible to come by in supermarkets.

    Mediterranean Delicacies was born in Nichas’ kitchen in 1988. It started out supplying just one ingredient to catering companies and restaurants in the Western Cape: tarama – the fish roe used as a base for the oily dip taramasalata, almost always part of Greek meze spreads.

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    Monday, March 14th, 2011

    There is a good section on milling equipment with brief descriptions of a range of mills explaining material milled, size, product and special characteristics. These include hammer, stone, plate and roller mills.

    A separate section allows datasheets, with most of the technical data, to be downloaded for specific equipment.

    ABC Hansen supply Grain Storage and Handling Equipment, Oil Expelling Equipment, Maize and Wheat Mills, Milling Supplies and associated equipment to the whole world.

    With their own manufacture and agencies from European, American and Eastern companies, the ABCAfrica Group believe they can help solve most agriculture related problems.

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    The information in this article was current at 08 Nov 2011

    Other products and services from Digivu


    Green / Sustainability

    Soil emissions are the biggest single item• Farm enteric emissions bigger than the emissions of the whole of food manufacturing• UK Freight emissions are less than domestic cold storage• The biggest contributors are Agriculture, Food Production and Trade Balance Household. Although the document considers the British industry it is packed with information that would be of value to anyone, anywhere considering entering the frozen food market.


    Food Products

    This little episode is quite a nice reflection of, I would say, the majority of the French who see themselves as authorities on food (this was no doubt this wasn’t a sweet), always sticking to their rules and not very willing to try things with an open mind.