C’ttee on Agric, Cocoa Affairs urged to help address post harvest losses

PFAG members interacting with the committeeThe Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG) has asked the Parliamentary Select Committee on Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs to help address post-harvest losses in the country.

Mr Bismark Owusu Nortey, the Programme Officer of PFAG in his presentation to the committee at the 2018 stakeholder meeting held last Friday, said statistics on post-harvest losses on major food crops could threaten food security and nutrition.

He noted that a research conducted by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), revealed that major food crops such as mango, tomato, cassava and yam recorded the highest post-harvest losses.

The PFAG boss said not only do the food crops go waste but substantial resources that go into production.

Mr Nortey attributed the losses to poor harvesting methods, poor handling procedures, poor drying techniques usually recorded at the producer level and lack of storage facilities.

He mentioned the lack of marketing and distributing policies, poor road network and inadequate extension service officers as some causes of post harvest losses and called for recruitment of more extension officers to improve service delivery.

The Programme Officer also called for the development of a legislative instrument (LI) to enhance the National Food Buffer Stock Company (NAFCO) to mop up excess produce from farmers.

Mr Asafo-Adjei Kwame, the Chairman of the Select Committee on Agric and Cocoa Affairs commended members of PFAG and other civil society organisations for their contribution to reducing post harvest losses.

He said the Committee would collaborate with the ministries of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), Local Government and Rural Development Roads to develop the capacity of farmers.

The meeting with the Parliamentary Select Committee on Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs forms part of the Voice for Change Campaign (V4C) implemented by PFAG and other CSOs with support from Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands and IFPRI.

The Civil Society Organisation had representatives from Ghana Trade and Livelihood Coalition and General Agriculture Workers Union.

By Malik Sullemana  

 

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