Post Harvest Management in Africa Issues/Opportunities


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Growers struggle to produce crops only to have additional losses after they mature. An excessive amount of food loss happens on the farm. Crop losses at household level can range between 30% for grains to 40-50% for root crops, fresh fruits and vegetables, due to insufficient post-harvest practices. Both quantity (weight loss) and quality losses (appearance, taste, texture, and nutritional or economic value) vary in magnitude and occur at all stages in the pre and post-harvest system from harvesting through handling, storage, processing and marketing. Every gram of food saved at household level from post-harvest losses translates into food available for family consumption or sale. Therefore, reducing losses before, during and after harvest can significantly contribute to food security, nutrition, and health.

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  • Since post-harvest losses in horticultural crops in Sub-Saharan Africa have been documented to be 30 to 80%, depending upon the crop and climate, and losses are physical, nutritional and economic in nature, reducing food losses will help rural farming populations increase incomes, and help the entire population of Sub-Saharan Africa in terms of food security and nutrition.
  • So with this talent in the room, your collection knowledge and skills we should be able to put our heads together and come up with some ideas for improving post harvest management.
  • Until they grow more food let’s work with them to keep more of what they growRemember agriculture is a system. Development often breaks the system into components which are disjointed and siloed and not managed holistically. So if yield increases are anticipated what does this mean along the PH chain?In fact experts say supporting post harvest will realize a bigger return on investment than on production.
  • The post-harvest sector includes all points in the value chain from production in the field to the food being placed on a plate for consumption. Postharvest activities include harvesting, handling, storage, processing, packaging, transportation and marketing
  • As of 10/13 FEWS NET anticipates that the 2013 main harvest could be 30-50 percent lower than average, only temporary relief in areas where food security is already Stressed (IPC Phase 2).The combined impact of poor production, below average incomes , prolonged market dependence, and depleted assets is likely to result in Crisis(IPC Phase 3) by February in northern and central Karamoja I saw that in the stores I visited.If done right it has a positive impact. If done poorly it has a negative impact.Genuine food security is a function of four components: Availability (the supply of food in an area); access (a household’s ability to obtain that food); utilization (a person’s ability to select, take in and absorb the nutrients in food); and vulnerability (the physical, environmental, economic, social and health risks that may affect availability, access and use).USA -135,000 people confirmed hospital admitted cases of food borne illness.
  • Food spoilage refers to undesirable changes occurring in food due to the influence of air, heat, light, moisture, which foster the growth of microorganisms. They in turn soften up the products so that macrorganisms attack the product
  • Oct.2013 Moroto.By the way, I saw orange maize grown, correct? And white maize is being promoted, correct? Why? AID nutrition is promoting a high vitamin A maize with orange kernels.
  • (1)Ash (2) keeping seed elevated in the cook house,Grain conditionTo reduce the incidence of spoilage and deteriorateon, the grain must satisfy the followingstorage conditions:•Be dry and at safe moisture levels for storage, since high-moisture grain is easilyattacked by molds.•Be healthy with a minimum of broken or bruised kernels, since damage grain is readilyattacked by insect pests and molds•Be clean and free from contamination by foreign matter, mammalian and insect excrements, since these conditions facilitate infestation by grain spoiling molds.•Be free from all stages of insect pests since these eat and quickly destroy grain.•Be cool and with temperatures within range of those of thestorage environment, since temperature determines optimum conditions for insect pests, rodents and molds, anduneven temperatures cause moisture migration in storage.
  • Remember buyers want 3 things: sufficient quantity, right quality and timing. Here is the framework :Look at the issue from a technical angle issues/action/barrier. Project management viewpoint.
  • Seeds are one of the least expensive but most important factors influencing yield potential. Seeds are responsible for 30 percent of the harvest, according to the Senegalese Institute of Agricultural Research Crop seeds contain all the genetic information to determine yield potential, adaptation to environmental conditions, and resistance to insect pests and disease.One of a farmer's most critical management decisions is the selection of seed source and variety. The cost of seed stocks usually is less than 5 to 10 percent of total production costs. Yet seed stocks can affect the yield potential of a crop more than any other input factor.
  • When should it be done?Visual inspection- cracked/broken of insect holes, darken fungus or mold. What % of certified seed should germinate? 90%
  • Skim off the seeds that float, using a spoon or straining ladle, and discard them, if most of the seeds sink, leaving only a small number of floaters. The floating seeds probably won't germinate. The seeds that sink will probably have a high germination rate.
  • Weak soils- weak crops? If HH’s shift every so often why would they invest in building soil health /fertility. Why would they applied commercial fertilizer?
  • Water quality. Source? Is happening up stream? Feces human animal? Pesticide other toxic chemicals in the irrigation water?Too much water- fungus. Too little water toxins AflatoxinWater rights?
  • Spreading ash on leaves and around base of plants deters pests
  • Sun scald
  • .
  • Communication is essential. Herders know the traditional crop cycles and so they move into areas once the traditional cycle is completed. If a second or off season crop is being encouraged it could cause friction.
  • Storage life:Mature green....................................21 to 28 days Pink...................................................7 to 14 days Red....................................................2 to 4 days
  • Key message, the less a product is handled the better the post harvest life.
  • Clean bags and crates with soap and water each time it is used.
  • Often kept in one pile. Good with the poor quality. Insects and disease thrive. Human contamination feet, hands , illness. Livestock feces.
  • Is processing an agricultural issue or nutrition issue?What potential food safety hazards are present? Physical hazards- broken glass, nails, stones, soil clods,Biological- unwashed hands, standing on maize livestock hair and feces.Chemical- pesticides.
  • So what are some traditional ways HH’s control moisture as well as insects, rodents, livestock? Put directly over cooking fire.
  • What happened?
  • Ash is used @ 10 liters/100 kilogram. Marigold is also useful. 2x or 3 x bagging is good too.
  • Dung coated floor, off the ground
  • Neighbors but different storage . #1. ash for termites but no rat guard. #2 Rat guard metal, thorn, but no ash for termites, weevils.
  • Two ways to store. They are neighbors. Which method is better?
  • Tim spoke about the challenges. 300% increase for 7 kilometers
  • Sane market place.Up off the ground, In the shade, Not over stacked, no plastic cookers
  • The remains are eaten as food. In a land where every grain counts, remaining bran is turned into alcohol, or fed to local chicken and goats.One bag feeds 10 for two weeks
  • Make sure your actions are part of the solution and not part of the problem
  • Post Harvest Management in Africa Issues/Opportunities

    1. 1. Post Harvest Management Paul Sommers ©
    2. 2. Session Outline Part 1- Post Harvest 101: The basics Part 2: Troubleshooting Post Harvest issues Part 3: Case Study: Post Harvest Interventions
    3. 3. Who Am I? • International agricultural development specialist. 35+ years in over 55 countries • Managed value chain projects where agriculture and nutrition with completely integrated Core belief: incremental change in partnership with farmers is the key to sustained/genuine progress
    4. 4. Key Messages • Every gram of food saved at household level from post-harvest losses translates into food available for family consumption or sale • Understanding key critical control points throughout the crop cycle is essential in developing effective prevention strategies • Most post harvest improvements are within the current knowledge, skills, and resources of T-2 households
    5. 5. Part 1 Post Harvest 101: The basics
    6. 6. Why is Post Harvest Management Important? Impacts HH food security/ economic security • Availability of food to HH’s • Access/affordability • Utilization Spoiled foods can lead to illness and can be fatal Listeria, E. coli, Salmonella,(bacteria), Aflatoxin((mold)
    7. 7. Why Does Food Spoil ?
    8. 8. Why Does Food Spoil?
    9. 9.
    10. 10. Why are post harvest losses so high?
    11. 11. Key Messages • Must be dry. Managing moisture content • Must be healthy . • Must be clean and free from contamination. • Must be free from all stages of insect pests.
    12. 12. End of Part 1 Questions?
    13. 13. Part 2: Post Harvest Issues and Intervention Opportunities 1) 2) 3) 4) Framework Observe each crop throughout the pre and post production cycle Identify hazards/ quality control issues throughout the crop cycle Identify simple “tweaks” that could make a difference and improve “value” in terms of quality and safety. Understand potential technical/cultural barriers to change
    14. 14.
    15. 15. Seed Quality
    16. 16. Simple Testing for Seed Quality • Germination • Vigor
    17. 17. Rapid test
    18. 18. Crop Management
    19. 19. Crop Management Practices: Soil Health
    20. 20. Water Management
    21. 21. Soil Moisture Management
    22. 22. Pest Management
    23. 23. Too Much Sun
    24. 24. Off Season?
    25. 25. Off Season
    26. 26. Ripe vs. Mature
    27. 27. Seed Selection
    28. 28. Harvesting
    29. 29. Field Drying
    30. 30. Field Packing
    31. 31. Transport From Field
    32. 32. Sorting
    33. 33. Sorting and Grading
    34. 34. Drying
    35. 35. Home Level Processing
    36. 36. Seed Preservation
    37. 37. Seed Preservation
    38. 38. Storage
    39. 39. Bag Storage
    40. 40. Storage
    41. 41. 3 Storage Methods
    42. 42. Storage Protection
    43. 43. Rodent Protection
    44. 44. Seed Storage
    45. 45. Transportation
    46. 46. Retail Display
    47. 47. Retail Display
    48. 48. Processing Brew
    49. 49. Key Points • Interventions must be reflect local socio-economic conditions/ practices and viewed within a value chain lens. • Understand the season crop cycle and value chain framework. • Support in-ground storage and piecemeal harvesting of root crops • Build on existing practices. Identify knowledge based interventions that tweak existing practices (double/triple bagging, ash, off and away from floor and walls) • Using the above, identify food safety/ food quality nexus points for joint programming with the project’s nutrition component. (Income and nutritional outcomes.) i.e. Aflatoxin as driver for VC improvement
    50. 50. PH Training Manuals • Prevention of post-harvest food losses for Grains Roots and Tubers : a training manual • Prevention of post-harvest food losses fruits, vegetables and root crops a training manual • Small Grain Storage • Improved Food Drying and Storage Training Manual
    51. 51. Useful Knowledge Sharing Websites : Information Network on Post-harvest Operations Linkedin Post Harvest Technology Group AGRILINKS USAID Food Security Network TOPS Preventing Post Harvest Loss Ag-nutrition community of practice FAO Global Forum on Food Security Postharvest Education Foundation
    52. 52. End of Part 2 Questions?
    53. 53. Part 3 Case Study: Post Harvest Interventions
    54. 54. farmer in the corner ”