Call for inclusion in post-harvest Management platform advocated

Business News of Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Source: Ghananewsagency.org

2019-06-11

Postharvest losses remain a major concern for farmers

Dr Jerry Nboyine, an Entomologist, has urged members of a Post-Harvest Management Platform in Upper West to guard against possible “jack of all trade” attitude to engender success of the platform.

“We have for instance, where people become jack of all trades, but I guess now that we have a platform with all kinds of organisations on board, people will not pretend to know everything but then people will be able to speak to specific issues,” he said.

“That will enable us to have lasting solutions to all the problems that we have because the knowledge is not in one man’s head and it will be wrong to pretend that one person knows everything”.

Dr Nboyine, an Entomologist at the Wa station of the Savannah Agricultural Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR-SARI), stated this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Wa.

The Ghana Trade and Livelihood Coalition inaugurated the Post-Harvest Management Platform last week under the Netherlands Development Organisation’s Voice for Change partnership.

It was aimed at mitigating the issue of post harvest loss affecting farmers in the region.

The 17-member multi-stakeholder platform comprised representatives of 11 organisations including; the media, governmental and non-governmental organisations, CSOs, the private sector, farmers and research institutions among others.

Dr Nboyine explained that the platform could ensure effectiveness of the fight against PHL among farmers since diverse expertise; experiences and resources would be coordinated on one platform towards mitigating the canker.

“I see it as something useful if only we will work together and not see each other as competitors so we will be able to have maximum impact in the region,” he said.

On the economic impact of PHL on farmers, Dr Iddrisu Yahaya, and Economist at the CSIR-SARI observed that PHL affected income of farmers and food insecurity as they incurred cost of production and lost about 20 percent of the produce.

“As a farmer, you incur cost in production and then you are expected to pay for the production cost, at the end of the day you lose about 20 per cent of the produce due to post harvest handling, you can imagine the effect of it on cost of production, farmer’s income and food security,” he said.

He noted that it was not possible to eradicate PHL and that if it was managed properly, it could help improve farmers’ income, enhance food security and nutritional value of the food.

Dr Yahaya noted that because of inadequate technologies to prevent the losses, the farmer lost everything he had put into the production and added that the platform would, among others things, streamline activities of the actors and to educate farmers on the effective ways to minimise the looses they incurred.

The high moisture content of root and tuber made them susceptible to pathogens resulting to about 50 per cent loss, about 40 per cent loss for legumes and up to 20 per cent loss for cereals.

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