Awareness has raised among African port cities about the role they can play in food logistics and supply. Pioneering innovation: the first fruit export by train has been carried out from Addis-Ababa (Ethiopia) to the port of Djibouti, where refrigerated containers can be shipped to European markets. This has been possible thanks to a technical aid from the port of Rotterdam (The Netherlands). An integrated railway and cold storage network (NCLN) will allow Ethiopian producers to import and export food through the port of Djibouti.
Import-export is one possibility, but local production turns out to be an essential asset to ensure food supply. Port cities have a card to play, as in Kribi (Cameroon) where a “Green belt” will be developed around the port to produce vegetables and daily life food for the city.
Born from sea water, port cities have also a role to play in drinkable water. In Douala (Cameroon), the port has created a company to produce and distribute drinkable water. The CEO of the port has ensured of its support to the city in case of water shortage. A “refreshing” cooperation!
Goldsmith architecture will create a floating chicken farm in Rotterdam. It follows the rules of the circular economy: on the top floor, 7000 hens live under a translucent roof giving them permanent daylight; on the middle floor are operated eggs packaging and waste management; on the lowest floor (under water) is a LED-powered cress farm, using manure as fertilizer. In addition, solar panels provide 100% of the farm’s energy needs.
As the growing lack of space within the city is a tangible obstacle for developing local food production, floating structures can be a part of the solution.
The crucial role of port cities in food logistics is well known, but they can also be relevant in the production, particularly of seafood as one project from Valencia (Spain) shows us this week. The salinity, nutrients and location of nurseries in port waters are excellent for the production of clòtxina valenciana (Mediterranean Mussel). In the case of Valencia, the yearly production reaches 1200 tons. The quality of the water is guaranteed by the port authority and the mussels are controlled by the regional authorities to guarantee that they are safe for consumption.
The port of Antwerp (Belgium) has been collaborating with the cross-border Great Saeftinghe nature park to develop nature areas and support innovation in agriculture. Now, has come the time for a new step. The port and partners of the park have launched a request for proposals for local farmers to develop nature-inclusive agriculture. The Agriculture Innovation Fund will support farmers willing to adapt agricultural practices so they still generate economic return, while contributing to the ecological goals of the port. The call is open until August 14th.
The port authority of Bahia Blanca met with stakeholders representing different sectors in the food production and logistic chain to set the foundation of the new food cluster. This initiative is framed in the port vision 2040. The goal of the cluster is to raise collaboration and efficiency between the different actors in the chains, increase the competitiveness of the local production and its export capacity. The cluster will also seek collaboration with innovative technology companies and research institutions including universities, focused on food production and export, that could result in new start-ups in the sector. This initiative shows the commitment of the port of Bahía Blanca with the AIVP Agenda 2030, that they recently ratified.