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Food processing businesses operate in the center of the value chain, playing an essential role in local economic growth. TechnoServe works to improve these businesses’ operations and safety practices so they can purchase more crops from farmers, create more jobs, and provide high-quality, nutritious food for consumers. Helping processors improve their food fortification practices is another key component of our work, as fortification of staple foods is one of the most effective, wide-scale ways of improving a population’s nutrition and health.
Our Work in Food Processing
TechnoServe helps food processors identify and analyze business problems and provides tailored guidance to improve operations, often through partnerships with leading global food companies. Much of this work links corporate volunteers from a consortium of food companies that comprise the nonprofit organization Partners in Food Solutions, enabling food processors in developing countries to access world-class industry expertise.
Featured Food Processing Projects
Strengthening African Processors of Fortified Foods
“Hidden hunger” is a form of undernutrition affecting millions of people in sub-Saharan Africa. Food fortification is a cost-effective strategy for addressing hidden hunger,helping people to access the nutrition they need. The Strengthening African Processors of Fortified Foods Project helps food companies in Africa to improve their capacity to produce and sell fortified foods for local markets.
Solutions for African Food Enterprises
Solutions for African Food Enterprises (SAFE) was a public-private partnership between TechnoServe, Partners in Food Solutions, and USAID that aimed to increase the competitiveness of the African food processing sector to expand availability of affordable and nutritious foods to local populations. The program benefited more than 1,000 food processors who source from more than 800,000 smallholder farmers in five countries.
BeninCajù: Strengthening a Sustainable Cashew Sector in Benin
TechnoServe is leading a sector-wide value chain approach aimed at strengthening and expanding the cashew sector into a more productive, competitive, sustainable, and inclusive economic growth engine for the people of Benin.
Transforming the Cashew Value Chain
With financial support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), TechnoServe implemented the MozaCajú project from 2013 to 2018, supporting the Mozambican cashew nut industry by harnessing global market demand for premium cashew and addressing obstacles throughout the value chain, including in the areas of production, inputs, processing, finance and marketing.
TechnoServe has trained over 1,000 food processing companies in six African countries, giving customized technical assistance to 300 high-potential processors. This training helps the processors enhance the quality and quantity of their products, as well as improve the overall operations and profitability of their businesses. In particular, TechnoServe’s specialized support of the 300 processors led to improved investments of $14 million.
Improved operations and profitability allows processors to hire additional workers and boost local employment rates. TechnoServe’s specialized work with 300 African processors, for instance, resulted in the creation of nearly 1,000 new jobs.
Food processors provide a critical market for smallholder farmers, and when these businesses increase their sales and processing capacity, they are able to buy more crops from farmers. TechnoServe’s work with 300 African processors has helped improve market opportunities for approximately 1 million smallholder farmers.
Millions of consumers benefit from safer, healthier, higher-quality food after processors improve their standards and operations. TechnoServe has also worked with processors that supply therapeutic and supplementary foods, which help improve nutrition for malnourished, elderly, and otherwise vulnerable members of the population.