The Ghana Trade and Livelihood Coalition (GTLC) has launched a multi-stakeholders post-harvest management platform in the Upper West Region charged to promote inclusive technologies towards cutting down post-harvest losses.
The platform, which consist of government agencies and institutions, private organisations, agriculture value chain actors, civil society organisations and the media, would work together to create conditions for better post-harvest management.
It was established through the Voice for Change Programme (V4CP) implemented by the GTLC with support from Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV) and International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
Speaking at the launch on the theme: “addressing post-harvest losses (PHL) for sustainable food value chains in Ghana,” Mr Ibrahim Akalbila, Coordinator of GTLC, said the platform was to create awareness on the best post-harvest management practices aimed at addressing challenges of PHL.
He added that the members of the platform would be expected to be in a position to work towards achieving the overall goal of government’s Planting for Food and Jobs programme and Ghana Beyond Aid agenda.
Dr Hafiz Bin-Salih, the Upper West Regional Minister, said Ghana lost 3.2 million metric tons of food valued at $8.9 billion in 2013 to post harvest losses.
“The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) estimates of post-harvest losses across the country are in the range of 10-20 per cent for dry cereals and 10-40 percent for vegetables, perishable fruits and roots”, he added.
It should be appreciated that post-harvest losses were real in terms of quality and quantity of products and are therefore a matter of concern to all stakeholders in agriculture.
The Upper West Regional Director of Agriculture, Mr Emmanuel Sasu Yeboah, said about 80 per cent of upper west population were farmers and the need for management to collectively tackle the challenges facing agriculture productivity and profitability.
The major food commodities produced in the region includes; cereals, legumes, root and tuber crops, fruits vegetables and others, farmers experience high levels of post-harvest loss.
But Mr Yeboah attributed the main causes of PHL along the value chains of the food commodities to poor harvesting and handling, poor storage facilities, poor preservation among others.
Mr Mohammed Sibaweihi, Chairman of the Platform called on stakeholders to join hands to reduce post-harvest losses in Upper West.