U/W:Project to reduce post harvest losses begins

Implementation of a project to help farmers reduce post harvest losses and improve sustainable nutrition for all has started at Dorimon in the Wa West District of the Upper West Region. It is being funded by the Ministry of foreign Affairs through SNV Netherlands Development Organization in partnership with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). The Voice for Change partnership programme is an evidence-based advocacy programme with a five-year funding and being implemented by the Ghana Trade and Livelihood Coalition It seeks to strengthen civil society organisations to advocate for an enabling environment where governments and businesses provide good and affordable services for low-income segments in the society. The Programme is currently ongoing at Talensi in the Upper East Region and Wa West in the Upper West Region. Food security in the Upper West Region continues to face some major challenges as bushfires, bad agronomic practices, poor road network, lack of proper storage facilities and techniques in storage largely contributes to post harvest losses in the Region. These factors contribute directly and indirectly to food insecurity leading to lack of sustainable nutrition among many families. Policy officer at the Ghana Trade and Livelihood Coalition, Emmanuel Wullindool said the situation of lack of storage facilities is expected to widen as government’s Planting for Food and Jobs project is expected to increase yields across the country. “Therefore measures must be put in place to curb post harvest losses,” advised.Assembly member for Dorimon electoral area Ababaasa Olinaa, expressed worry that the Wa West District has only four agric extension officers and one veterinary which couples with poor road network and lack of storage facilities. “There are several factors that account for these losses along the commodity value chain. These include both poor application of good agronomic practices, inadequate agriculture extension officers, poor road network and lack of cold storage facilities for vegetables storage. “It must be placed on record that, the Wa West District has only four Agric extension Officers and one Veterinary Officer,” he noted. SNV Country Programme coordinator for the Netherlands Development Organization, Eric Banye, said farmers buy food they could have stored for the rest of the season but failed due to bad agronomic practices and lack of storage facilities. “Increasingly, farmers produce a lot ,we can take maize as an example ,when they produce their maize from their little income, the little that is harvested is taken home, as a result of the poor agronomic practices and poor storage system, a large volume of that wasted. This same farmer is now forced to look for additional money to buy food from the market,” he said. Upper West Regional Agric extension officer Stephen K.Yelsung also expressed worry about the insufficient number of extension officers which he said is impeding agricultural development.

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By Yakubu Abdul-Gafur|TV3|3news.com|Ghana]]>