Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Monday, May 20, 2013

Reduction of Post Harvest Losses and Value Addition in East African Food Value Chains

RELOAD: Reduction of Post Harvest Losses and Value Addition in East African Food Value Chains. The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and led by the University of Kassel in Germany. This collaborative project builds a research network between partners in Germany, Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda. It is a 5-year collaborative trans-disciplinary project which starts in June, 2013. 

Within RELOAD, the German Institute for Tropical and Sub-tropical Agriculture (DITSL) leads the subproject “Transdisciplinary research: Stakeholder processes, knowledge integration and collaborative learning”. DITSL is a non-profit limited liability company (GmbH) at the Faculty of Organic Agricultural Sciences of the University of Kassel at Witzenhausen. DITSL conducts research on agricultural systems as human activity systems following an inter- and transdisciplinary social-ecological approach. 
  • DITSL will investigate food value chains (mainly milk and meat and to some extent vegetables, grains and tubers) as human activity systems, with a focus on communication, collaboration and competition of various actors. 
  • Research will focus on actors, their goals, perspectives, strategies, activities, needs and room for maneuvre. 
  • Starting out from a stakeholder analysis and the formation of stakeholder platforms, DITSL will offer learning opportunities to the actors to reveal control options in food value chains - so that losses can be reduced and value addition enhanced. 
  • DITSL will explore possibilities for collective action by producer groups to bring about benefits especially in the areas of strengthening marketing capacity and market linkages.
In Kenya, one focus of RELOAD is on pastoral meat value. The high losses along the pastoral meat value chain include animal weight loss prior to slaughter, wastage of animal products and by-products, losses in quality of meat products and economic losses due to low profit margins for the producers. 
  • The project will fund four (4) PhD research studies to analyze different possibilities to reduce losses and increase efficiency along the pastoral meat value chains. 
  • These studies will be jointly implemented by the University of Nairobi, National Museums of Kenya and the German Institute for Tropical and Sub-tropical Agriculture (DITSL) at the University of Kassel in Germany. 
  • The PhD candidates will be registered at the University of Nairobi and University of Kassel (see advertisement for PhD positions on

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