Call for applications for early stage agtech/agfood/agrobioscience startups
Food wastage is a major global problem that needs immediate attention and more investments to develop technological solutions aimed at food waste elimination and management. FAO estimates that over 40% of fresh produce goes to waste and the global costs of food wastage and post-harvest loss (PHL) amount to about $2.6 trillion per year, including $700 billions of environmental costs and $900 billions of social costs.
In Africa, food waste is a huge problem wherein 40% of staple foods are lost before making it to market. About 50% of fruits and vegetables, 20% of cereals, 40% of root and tuber crops make up the lost food composition. Inefficient processing and drying, poor storage, and insufficient infrastructure are instrumental factors in food waste in Africa. In Sub-Saharan Africa, post-harvest food losses are estimated to be worth more than US $ 4 billion per year – or enough to feed at least 48 million people. In many African countries, PHL of food cereals are estimated at 25-50 percent of the total crop harvested.
UM6P Ventures, VC arm of UM6P University in Morocco is deeply interested and wants to address the food waste and PHL problem in Africa with the aim towards hunger reduction, enhancing farm to fork, income improvement for smallholder farmers, poverty reduction and increasing net food production. Post-harvest PHL has been identified as a crucial challenge to achieving food and nutrition security in sub-Saharan Africa.
To support our cause and goal of eliminating food waste/spoilage, UM6P ventures is calling all early stage agtech/agfood/agrobioscience startups focused on discovery and development of technological innovations & solutions to address and mitigate PHL and spoilage in the food value chain. We invest in early-stage startups and support businesses with human resource, African market opportunities, University networks across Africa, business setup and much more.
We welcome innovators that address PHL using :
1) Edible coating 2) Ethylene binding and perception blocking treatment 3) Protein based solutions 4) Nanomaterials for PHL reduction 5) Chitosan treatments 6) Plant extracts 7) SA/meJA treatment 8) Other GRAS methods
Applications are open until 31 December 2021. Click below and apply now.