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Peasant farmers’ rise against post -harvest losses

The Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana is calling on government and other Stakeholders to put in place concrete measures to address post harvest losses.

Specifically, “we call on government to take deliberate steps to ensure that post-harvest management is effectively integrated into all its agricultural programmes; the Planting for food and jobs programme.

“There is the urgent need for an increase in budgetary allocation on post-harvest management both in national and local level with high commitment transparency and accountability from implementing agencies to ensure reduction in post harvest losses.”

The call comes after it emerged that Ghana loses over GHc 700,000 annually on post –harvest losses, while more than half of the food crops do not get to the final consumer.

This situation means that, significant volumes of  food  especially  grains are  lost after harvest  thereby  aggravating hunger and  resulting  in expensive inputs  being  wasted.

Such losses, according to the Association leads to loss in market opportunities and nutritional values while posing serious health hazards especially if linked to consumption of aflatoxin-contaminated grains.

Speaking at a National Policy Dialogue on Post -Harvest Losses,  Food and Nutrition Security in Accra on Wednesday, Programme Coordinator of the Association, Victoria Adongo, observed    that food losses contribute to high food  prices  and have an impact on  the environment and climate change as land, water and non renewable  resources  such as  fertilizer  and  energy used to produce and process  as  well as transport the food that no one consumes.

Madam Adongo lamented that these losses mostly affect small holder farmers, maintaining that that though options abound to reduce post harvest losses, the adoption rate in Africa and Ghana remains miserably low.

She explained that from training in improved handling to better storage facilities interventions exist  that enables small holder farmers  to improve  quality  and quantity of  grains during harvesting and storage.”Unfortunately success has been rare as commitment from the national and local government has been particularly low in terms of budgetary allocations for such infrastructure.

She continued, “it is on this note that the PFAG and other CSOs are calling for improved implementation of available post-harvest technologies, budgetary allocation.

Commenting on National Nutrition Policy, Madam Adongo recommended that more support be given to grow foods that are known to have high nutritional values like Sorghum, Millet Cowpea Bambara beans and many other indigenous foods and vegetables.

The Dialogue was organized by the PFAG with support from the Netherlands Development Organization’s (SNV) Voices for Change Programme (V4C).

On  his  part,  Mr Eric Banye, Country Programme Coordinator for the V4C   said,the programme  seeks  to empower Civil  Society  Organisations  to have    greater voices  as advocates  and effectively serve the   interest  of  the  people  they  represent.

The programme, he said, is also to influence Agenda- setting and policy creation by stimulating collaboration among civil society, government, the private sector and other relevant players.

He said the programme  focuses  on four  thematic  areas, these  include  Food  and Nutrition Security, Resilience, Renewable Energy  and  Water, Sanitation and  Hygiene.

 

 

 

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