8 – 11 March 2016. Gent, Belgium. Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Tropical and
Subtropical Agriculture and Ethnobotany, Departement of Plant Production.
- Review the progress made in implementing 2015 work plan compiled in a technical and financial reports;
- Consolidate year 7 work plan and Budget
- Discuss the progress made in implementing the CRF and IF;
- PAEPARD III/Exit Strategy of PAEPARD
- Prepare the forthcoming meetings in which PAEPARD will attend: Steering Committee meeting, PACA meeting, GCARD3, Africa-EU summit (Addis Ababa); 7th AASW;
- Governance of the project
- Discuss any other business raised by partners.
- Working visit to PAEPARD new desk manager on the project at EC/DevCo
- Visit of some departments of the university of Gent linked to PAEPARD
11 March 2016. Gent, Belgium. Department of Bioanalysis, Laboratory of Food Analysis Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Below is the compilation of the presentations made during the visit and meeting with Prof. Dr. Pharm.D. Sarah De Saeger and doctoral students (see below).
General problems associated with mycotoxin analysis in Africa were discussed:
- analytical tests are expensive; there is a lack of expertise, or a limited number of laboratories performing the tests;
- there is a lack of technical support from companies selling analytical instruments;
- turn-around times for results are generally poor: a farmer with production ready-for-the-market cannot afford to wait for 1 month for analytical test results;
- small-scale farmers or informal markets are not aware of the potential harm caused by mycotoxins;
- there is an increasing stringent list of regulated mycotoxins, and laboratories are not always up-to-date with corresponding analytical tests;
- adopting EU regulations requires sensitive and accurate methods such as mass spectrometric methods.
Presentations were made by following doctorates:
- Melody Hove, Ugent, University of Zimbabwe (03/01/14 – now), “Human dietary exposure to mycotoxins in Zimbabwe and related risk assessment and management”
- Cynthia Chilaka, Ugent, McPherson University (01/01/2015 – now), ” Fusarium mycotoxins and their masked forms in Nigerian foods: occurrence and influence of traditional processing methods”
- Lerato Motloung (South Africa – Master student, performing her thesis in my lab through Erasmus+)
- Abebe Ayelign (Ethiopia – PhD student at Addis Ababa University, but performing his analysis of biomarkers in urine in my lab)
This meeting was followed by a second meeting with a delegation of Entrepreneurs for Entrepreneurs. This organisation relates directly agribusiness initiatives with Belgian (SME) entrepreneurs. The delegation consisted of:
Luc Bonte, Freddy De Mulder , Guy Morre and Annemarie Lambrecht.
One of the projects is Harmony Nutrifoods for which PAEPARD mediated for funding from Entrepreneurs for Entrepreneurs.
Having mastered the art of food business during her university time, Jessica Nanyunja
immediately ventured into processing and packaging of banana fruit juice in the brand of “Harmony omubisi ” under the company name Harmony Nutrifoods Ltd. Jessica started banana juice processing with only 300,000 Uganda Shillings given to her by the elder brother as a handout gift.
For the first time she produced 30 harmony banana juice bottles of 500ml from her mother’s garage. However, shortly after introducing her brand on market in 2008, her business venture temporally paused when she decided to go abroad in Belgium to do a master degree. On her return to Uganda in May, 2012 to conduct her PhD field work Jessica made a comeback into the banana juice business producing a banana juice product with the same original and natural taste just like the traditional omubisi but this time with a professional touch of a Food Technologist.
Harmony Nutrifoods Ltd, located in Buddo-Kisozi, Masaka road, has since expanded its sales to a number of clients including Peace restaurant, 2K restaurant, Magic parking, and Seshaz restaurant, and now operates its own depot shop opposite Christ the King Church on Colvile Street. Today, Jessica earns a monthly profit of about 4,000,000 million Uganda Shillings. Her advice to others who want to venture into the value addition business is simple “you don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to become great” proudly declared.