Graphic Business News

New platform to help manage post-harvest losses

By: Ama Amankwah Baafi
 Some members of the platform
Some members of the platform

A platform to manage post-harvest losses in Ghana has been established.

It is dubbed “Upper West Regional Post-Harvest Management Platform”. It seeks to be a multisectoral platform to coordinate activities aimed at addressing post-harvest losses (PHL).

It will also promote affordable and accessible post-harvest management technology to contribute to improving PHL service delivery in the country with a focus on the Upper West Region.

Formed under the auspices of the SNV Voice for Change Partnership Campaign (V4C), it comprises representatives from all the 11 districts in the region, including farmers, civil society organisation (CSOs), research / academia, ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).

It is premised on the fact that over the last few decades investments made by governments to increase food production in the region have reduced based on poor PHL management practices and the lack of infrastructure.

Some of the crops that are lost often during the year are rice, maize, groundnut, sorghum, soya bean and tomato.

In an interview, the Policy Officer at the Ghana Trades and Livelihood Coalition (GTLC-Upper West), Mr Emmanuel Wullingdool, on April 2, 2019, said post-harvest losses was affecting the quantity of food available in the region and reducing the incomes of farmers.

 Targeted crops
Citing some of the effects of PHL on groundnuts, Mr Wullingdool said about 80 per cent of groundnut farmers did not have access to adequate credit and are self-financing their production activities.

“In the Jirapa and Lawra districts, groundnuts are not stored because of the unavailability of warehouses. This increases their propensity to PHL,” he explained.

In relation to rice, he said, the use of sticks with tarpaulin constituted about 80 per cent of threshing in the Upper West Region. The situation which is considered most deplorable makes the produce susceptible to PHL.

“Similar to rice, 80 per cent of the amount spent in harvesting tomatoes is self-financed, which leads to the tomato crop being left to rot on the farm because of lack of access to funds,” he said.