Environmental Foundation Africa and Njala University are leading two of the four work packages of the multi-national RE4Food project. RE4Food is funded by the UK through the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council; as well as Sierra Leone there are partners in Ghana, Kenya, South Africa,Germany and the UK.
The aim of the project is to understand how better access and use of energy can reduce food losses. For example, in Sierra Leone at the hight of the mango season many go to waste because prices in the market are so low it is not worth gathering them plus many are damaged when they fall from tall trees or are “stoned” by young boys. Other losses are less visible but equally important. Rice, fish and palm oil are the fundamental elements of many meals in Sierra Leone, and all three require considerable amounts of energy to process them. The oft quoted figure is that it takes one ton of wood to smoke one ton of fish; however, this may be an underestimate of energy use!