Protecting HarvestsThe Impact of Post-Harvest Losses      in a Ugandan Context        June 18, 2012             Rio       ...
Achieving food security for all meansavailability, accessibility and affordability ofsufficient, nutritious food. This is ...
Agriculture will need to produce more to serve  basic nutritional needs. In order to achieve a  global average food consum...
Agricultural productivity has to be improvedand food production increased in asustainable way to find short and long‐terms...
FAO estimated that post-harvest losses rangedfrom 15% to an enormous 50% in developingcountries.Waste is worse in fresh pr...
Cereals and PulsesRecent studies on Maize have revealed thatfarmers experience losses at various levels as is shown in the...
These losses also apply to legumes and pulsesand in fact, they tend to be higher as these twotypes of crops are more susce...
• Losses through insect infestation and early sales reduce the stock of  food that should take a family up to the next har...
Generally, there are losses recorded duringmarketing of most commodities due to thepoor state of the market facilities and...
LivestockThe major product where farmers incur post-harvest losses in livestock is milk. This is mainlydue to lack of cold...
Fish• The major cause of post harvest losses in fish  is lack of cold chain. Because of its high ability  to perish, a lot...
HoneyThe major cause of post harvest losses inhoney is poor harvesting technologies andskills. Because of lack of appropri...
What does this mean on our farms?• Reduced available food for the household due to  weight loss caused by insects and rode...
Recommendations:• Building local storage facilities and  transportation mechanisms, including  cold chain storage for food...
• Localising the application of agronomic knowledge, pest-identification and  meteorological information.• Educating the p...
• In conclusion, the best way to improve  agriculture’s output and ensure food security  is to tackle the question of post...
Learning Event No. 10, Session 3: Akaki. ARDD2012 Rio.
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Learning Event No. 10, Session 3: Akaki. ARDD2012 Rio.

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Presentation by Rose Akaki, Ugandan Farmers Federation, member of World Farmers Organisation, at the 2012 Agriculture and Rural Development Day (ARDD) in Rio de Janiero, Learning Event No. 10, Session 3: African initiatives for reducing food losses. http://www.agricultureday.org

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Learning Event No. 10, Session 3: Akaki. ARDD2012 Rio.

  1. 1. Protecting HarvestsThe Impact of Post-Harvest Losses in a Ugandan Context June 18, 2012 Rio By Rose Akaki Uganda Farmers Federation Member of World Farmers Organisation
  2. 2. Achieving food security for all meansavailability, accessibility and affordability ofsufficient, nutritious food. This is no easy taskin a world of growing population and requiresthe efforts by farmers, governments,researchers, businesses and otherrepresentatives of society.
  3. 3. Agriculture will need to produce more to serve basic nutritional needs. In order to achieve a global average food consumption of 3130 kcal per person per day for 9 billion people by 2050, an additional 1 billion tonnes of cereals and 200 million tonnes of meat would need to be produced annually.**Bruinsma, 2009. Based on comparisons to 2005-07 levels.
  4. 4. Agricultural productivity has to be improvedand food production increased in asustainable way to find short and long‐termsolutions to food security worldwide.Of course, one of the primary ways to meetneeds is to reduce production losses and foodwaste. We need to use more of what wegrow.
  5. 5. FAO estimated that post-harvest losses rangedfrom 15% to an enormous 50% in developingcountries.Waste is worse in fresh produce whichdelivers vital nutrients to humans around theglobe. Losses in both the developed anddeveloping world are estimated at over 30%.Let me focus on the specific consequences inmy country - Uganda.
  6. 6. Cereals and PulsesRecent studies on Maize have revealed thatfarmers experience losses at various levels as is shown in the table:
  7. 7. These losses also apply to legumes and pulsesand in fact, they tend to be higher as these twotypes of crops are more susceptible to insectinfestation both in pods and in seed than cereals. Farmers tend to dispose off their produceduring harvest time. This is compounded bypoverty which compels them to sell theirproduce at a giveaway price. In fact during thistime, they are at the mercy of the producedealers who decide on the rates.
  8. 8. • Losses through insect infestation and early sales reduce the stock of food that should take a family up to the next harvest; thus threatening food and nutrition security in households.• For fruits and vegetables, the losses are even higher due to the perishable nature. Lack of cold storage/cold chain and appropriate storage increase post harvest losses.• If marketing is not properly organised, losses of up to 80% can occur. This is in fresh fruits like mangoes, oranges, pawpaws and sweet bananas. In vegetables and tomatos, farmers have recorded losses of up to 60% during the peak seasons.
  9. 9. Generally, there are losses recorded duringmarketing of most commodities due to thepoor state of the market facilities and thedeplorable state of roads.Value addition would be the possible solutionwhere fruits are made into juices,syrups/concentrates.
  10. 10. LivestockThe major product where farmers incur post-harvest losses in livestock is milk. This is mainlydue to lack of cold storage at farm level and lackof primary processing equipment also contributesto these losses.During peak season, farmers are forced to pouraway milk when they fail to sell it off.Farmers also suffer losses from beef. Not all thatis slaughtered for sale may be bought. Whatremains goes to waste as there are no coldstorage facilities.
  11. 11. Fish• The major cause of post harvest losses in fish is lack of cold chain. Because of its high ability to perish, a lot of fish is lost by the vendors and some unsuspecting consumers. Vendors try to offset these losses by smoking the “bad” fish.
  12. 12. HoneyThe major cause of post harvest losses inhoney is poor harvesting technologies andskills. Because of lack of appropriatetechnologies, over 20% of the would-be honeyis left in combs. Besides, most rural farmersboil the harvested honey in a bid to extract itfrom the comb. This destroys the nutrientscontained in the honey.
  13. 13. What does this mean on our farms?• Reduced available food for the household due to weight loss caused by insects and rodents• Reduced household income due to losses• Loss in quality of the food affects marketability• Reduced available food for the market• Reduced carry-over seed for planting in the following season• Nutrition loss – protein and vitamin content is lost due to rodents, weevils, moth larvae and overheating in the case of honey.
  14. 14. Recommendations:• Building local storage facilities and transportation mechanisms, including cold chain storage for food preservation.• Introducing warehouse receipt system where farmers can store their produce and access credit facilities on the strength of the receipts.• Rural infrastructure including road links to railways, and to ports.
  15. 15. • Localising the application of agronomic knowledge, pest-identification and meteorological information.• Educating the public on sustainable consumption and production needs and behaviours, including the need to reduce on food waste.• Providing risk management tools to support farmers in managing weather and market variations• Providing microfinance facilities that do not affect any other collateral apart from the crop harvested.• The problem of food waste is not limited to developing countries only. One study suggests that 40-50% of food that is ready for harvest in some developed countries is not consumed.• Action is required throughout the food chain, including at the consumer level, to reduce food waste. Proper storage, market signals, transportation, and processing are needed – ironically often in the countries where food can least afford to be wasted. So, too, we need to educate consumers and end users. For once food moves to cities, vast percentages of it go to waste there.
  16. 16. • In conclusion, the best way to improve agriculture’s output and ensure food security is to tackle the question of post harvest losses head on.

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