AgroIndustry & Food Security

In line with the Millennium Development Goals and within the framework of poverty reduction, the issue of food security has attracted international attention. The concept of food security means food availability as well as individuals capability to access to enough of it. In general, it is recognized that poverty affected people living in rural area where livelihood is mainly based on agriculture. What emerges in Developing Countries is that despite implemented efforts to improve agricultural productions, the amount of the population that live below the poverty line and suffering food insecurity is still high. In these Countries, the main issues concern resources and money lack. Given that there are not investments coming from local parties, and that these Countries security food systems are not so developed as Industrialized Countries ones, poverty is considered the first barrier to food security.

Within this framework and in order to improve food supply, UNIDO assists African Continent through the promotion of some specific projects and programmes directed to agro-industry and food security as well as highlighting the need to develop technologies and techniques to reduce post harvest losses, to increase quality systems and, therefore, to enhance food safety.
It should be also mentioned the organization of some round table discussions to create a positive environment for competitive agro-industries in order to achieve food security as well as economic growth in Developing Countries.

At this purpose, the Service emphasises the importance of agricultural production growth to fight poverty as well as the strengthening of production capacity building through technological development for value adding.
In this context, preservation/storage and processing/packaging techniques have been implemented with the aim to reach a safety food production in small and medium agro-industries as well as in local clusters.

Additionally, the Service provides support trough policy advice and coordinated activities in rural area on the basis of specific programmes that are submitted to the donor communities for funding.

Within this framework, UNIDO ITPO Italy actively operates for the promotion of some targeted projects concerning the issue of food security and food safety in Developing Countries. In particular, the implementation of these programmes aims to increase food security measures in Senegal as well as in Mozambique, a Country in which food security policies have been adopted only after the war period and required an innovative and inter-sectorial approach.

In the Senegalese context, ITPO Italy manages some projects aimed to the modernization of packaging industry. To this end, the promotion of better type packaging processes aims to protect the food from microbial and chemical contamination, oxygen, water vapour and light. In this Country the sector mainly interested in food security is the fishery industry, because some products have to be cooked or washed and then graded and frozen at -40°C. In addition, they have to be conserved at -18°C before being stored in containers for export.

Moreover, at the aim to promote technology and know-how transfer to ensure food security, and in a context of fight against hunger, UNIDO ITPO Italy collaborates with Ipack-Ima Spa, the biggest Italian international exhibitions organizer in the fields of food processing, packaging and logistic technologies.
This cooperation has the goal to promote events, in Italy and abroad, focused on technology transfer in Developing Countries, aimed to build a specific path with a view to Expo 2015 in Milan, whose main theme is “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”. In January 2010, UNIDO ITPO Italy and Ipack-Ima signed an agreement to strengthen their collaborative relationship in this field.

Their shared commitments to improve food security in Developing Countries is attested by international conferences, organized by Ipack-Ima and UNIDO ITPO Italy, such as: “More Technology, Security&Quality and Less World Hunger” Milan 2009; “Ipack-Ima days- Technologies for Food Security” Bologna 2010; “International Fair”  Düsseldorf 2011 as well as the International Trade Fair on packaging and food processing that will be held from 28th  February to 3nd March 2012 in Milan. In this occasion, UNIDO ITPO Italy Technological Innovation Award for Food Safety in Developing Countries (launched within Düsseldorf Fair) will be assigned to worldwide stakeholders that have adopted best innovative solutions for what concerns technologies to improve food security and food supply management, as well as better transportation and distribution services within the framework of humanitarian emergencies.

Industrial Priorities

The demand of fishery products is high and it is growing in international market. The sector is affected by two big issues: decreasing of catches and strong pressures on some of the main fish stocks. The evident consequence is a limited availability supply, despite the recent growth of aquaculture.

The above mentioned sector features lead to the existence of a highly fragmented value chain for the capture of wild fish and a total absence of leading specific group of actors. Differently from the value chain of other products, retailers and brand manufactures are not so dominant in the fishery sector.

In Developing Countries, there is a lack of fish processing before export causing a loss of product value compared to the processed one. The ability of Developing Countries to export value-added products is hindered by the establishment of some tariffs in the market, imposed by Developed Countries against imported and processed fishery products. In addition, Developing Countries have to comply with safety and quality standards imposed on the market by the international community but the lack of technical know-how and financial resources hinder them to meet these standards.

The role of UNIDO, in technical assistance to fishery industry, covers: characteristic technological features of small, artisanal fishery and of large scale, as well as off-shore operations up to the factory ship level, choice of technology in developing countries. The support of UNIDO in the fishery sector is also based on training programmes for fishermen and boat owners, as well as good operational management practices along the entire fisheries chain. The Service also provides technical advice for the improvement of fishing boats, landing sites and instruments to record traceability of fishery products processed for exports.

Within this framework,  UNIDO ITPO Italy supports some projects to favour the development of fishery sector in Mozambique and Senegal.
Mozambique is heavily endowed with fishery resources, both marine and fresh water. Moreover, sea fishing represents more that 90% of the total fish production relying on 120.000 tons of fish, of which the 80% composed by homemade fisher’s catches. The most important marine varieties include: marine crustaceans (shrimps, deep water’s little shrimp, crawfishes and crabs), cephalopods and marine molluscs.

Concerning Senegal, the primary sector is based on the dominant role of fishery industry. The sector is a source of 100,000 jobs for nationals. Despite the strong importance of this sector both in economic and social dimensions, Senegalese fishery industry has to face two issues: the over-exploitation of coastal stocks resources and the decreasing of market supply. Compared to the past, now the fishery activities mainly concern exports oriented products.

It should be noticed that through the implementation of the Delegate Programme, UNIDO ITPO Italy conducts several promotional activities in order to establish a cooperation between the companies coming from Development Countries and Italian ones. In this context, ITPO Italy has hosted two Delegates, namely from CPI Mozambique and DASP Senegal, who have promoted some projects regarding this sector. Beyond the projects, the activity of the Delegates was aimed to establish a cooperation based on a chain perspective at the aim to reach a better development of the fishery sector in the Countries. The goal is to strengthen links between the above mentioned Countries and Italian business community at the aim to promote direct investments and technology transfer.