College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Nutrition & Food Science

Dr. Sahyoun: a wonderful research experience in Tanzania

Nadine Sahyoun, professor in the Department of Nutrition and Food Science and Taryny Devereux from the Department of Agriculture Economics (AREC) spent two weeks in July 2017, in Iringa, Tanzania conducting exploratory research on more efficient methods of food distribution in rural areas in order to minimize waste and enable farmers to deliver their farm products directly to the consumers. Each year in Africa, over 550 million tons of food is wasted because complex modern food supply chains are unsuited to rural areas where infrastructure such as transportation, refrigeration and packaging are lacking, and where local conditions or constraints are not considered in the planning process. Dr. Sahyoun and her partners conducted focus groups with farmers and stakeholders to learn about the challenges they face in getting their agricultural products to food markets and interviewed processors and transporters to learn about their role in the food supply chain. Their research seeks ways to narrow the gap between producers and consumers so that consumers have a consistent supply of nutritionally balanced food and local farmers are ensured a reliable and steady market for their products.

 

The research project, called Harvestlink, is a partnership funded through the VPR’s Faculty Incentive Program (Tier 1) and by AGNR and AREC and included StepbyStep, a Maryland-based non-profit organization, mVuno, a technology start-up company and the University of Iringa.

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