By Lola Gaparova, Senior Participatory Extension Workshop Facilitator, USAID Farmer Advisory Services, Tajikistan
The First International Congress was a very successful, first-of-its kind, high-level forum on postharvest loss prevention (PHL). It was very great opportunity for me to be a part of the Congress. Participants from 62 countries were engaged with the ADM Institute for the Prevention of Postharvest Loss for Developing Measurement Approaches and Intervention Strategies for Smallholders. All participating partners and organizations had the opportunity to exchange ideas, technologies, policies, and postharvest loss implementation issues and solutions, as well as formulate needs and plans for future actions.
The congress assessed the challenges associated with postharvest loss within the frameworks of metrics and measurements. The focus was to enable the development of better tools and interventions to prevent postharvest loss for smallholders in developing countries. The event provided excellent networking opportunities for professionals from academic, government, non-governmental organizations, foundations, and private entities. This high-level coalition of diverse professionals created a roadmap for postharvest loss prevention by formulating needs and plans for future actions towards a global consensus on measurement and mitigation approaches.
I also had a great chance to met with my classmates William Lanier and Murillo Freire, from the ADM Institute online course we took in March 2015, “Global Postharvest Loss Prevention: Fundamentals, Technologies, and Actors.”
William Lanier came to Ghana and found an opportunity for the promotion of storage facilities that are widely used in Canada and Australia, but have not been adopted in Africa. He set up a small consulting firm called NeverIdle, and is now navigating through the agribusiness landscape of Ghana. At the second day during his poster presentation he shared with his product and how it works.
According to him, women can’t own the land, but they can own tractors and mobile storage facilities, and with proper storage they can control their harvest and receive benefits from it. The storage is made of metal, is off the ground and under a roof, so it keeps the grains safe from insects, rats, fungi, floods and wildfire. You can open the bottom of the bin so gravity moves the grain out, making it less labor intensive. You can also open the bin from the top for easy bulk loading and fumigate if you have a problem with insects.
The bins he offered were in the middle: when they are empty, they move, leaving the stationary facilities behind; when they are full they can be parked while the truck can go and do its work. This mobility quality makes it possible to position the storage in the desirable place in the supply chain.
Murillo Freire Junior shared his experience on PHL in Brazil’s banana production and marketing chain. During his poster presentation, he also highlighted the importance of agriculture education.
On the third day of Congress, there were group discussions about Building a Consensus and Road Map for Reducing Global Postharvest Losses.
The purpose of a roadmap was tо develop charts and pathways towards improving lives and livelihoods of а large number of smallholder farmers sustainably through а [6%] postharvest loss reduction of key crops with minimal environmental impact.
The target was on broader stages of the supply chain:
- Drying & Storage
From the group discussion, it was clear that Postharvest Losses саn bе reduced from each of the above supply chain stages bу the following interventions that are defined as target intervention areas (TIA): Markets, Technology, Policy, Education and Training.
The blog entries in this #PreventPHL series are by students and members of the PHL Prevention community of practice. The opinions expressed are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of the ADM Institute. In addition, none of the statements should be considered an endorsement of any person, product, or technique by the ADM Institute.