By Joyce Bedeley:
Vice president of the Ghana National Association Of Farmers And Fishermen, GNAFF, Mr. John Dziwornu has been expressing strong reservations about the sorry story of post-harvest loses which most farmers are forced to endure in several parts of the country. Mr. Dziwornu who was speaking on Rite FM’s agro news, while acknowledging the challenges farmers suffer, attributed the problem to the gap in the various phases of the value chain.
‘Post-harvest losses exist in Ghana because of the gap that lies between the farmers and the processors,’ Mr. Dziwornu noted. According to him, the food distribution companies and other state-owned organizations which hitherto bought from the farmers and put in place other interventions to ameliorate these problems were now calling on the private sector to take up this responsibility.
Almost half of food crops produced in the country does not make it to the final consumer, a study on post-harvest losses in the country has revealed. The research sponsored by Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) was conducted in 2013 by The Urban Association Limited (TUAL) on post-harvest losses of selected food crops in 11 African countries.
According to the report, as much as 60 percent of Yam produced in Ghana, for instance, does not make it to the consumer. The study said the level of losses occurring in maize production, for instance, ranges between 5-70 percent while between 11-27 percent of rice cultivated never makes it to the consumer.
The amount of millet/sorghum lost after harvesting ranges from 5-15 percent, with 18 percent of cassava lost after harvesting, the report added.
Post-harvest losses typically occur due to a host of factors, including human activities such as transporting, de-husking, shelling, winnowing, drying and bagging, and during storage.