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Horticultural post-harvest losses can be reduced
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Horticultural post-harvest losses can be reduced

The recent report of FAO on Global food losses and food waste in developing countries indicated that more than 40% of the food losses occur at post-harvest and processing levels. According to the 2014’s Commodity System Assessment Methodology survey in Rwanda, 20% to 40% of all food losses are caused by poor handling of produce. The report proved also that farmers are often reliant on extension services whose capacity in postharvest handling and marketing are inadequate.

This has been a motif for the country to establish the project of Reducing Post Harvest Losses in Rwanda (RPLR). This project was designed with an aim to increase food security through a better understanding and identification of the most efficient ways to reduce postharvest losses.

It is against that background that the RPLR organized a workshop on post-harvest losses reduction for 40 farmers of vegetables and fruits from all districts to gain more awareness on fundamental causes of such losses and better understand constraints and opportunities in the horticultural crop value chains. This workshop was also a channel for participants to be tipped on benefits of improved postharvest practices and technologies through a field visit at Mulindi Center of Excellence.

Ndayitabi Serge, the RPLR project coordinator in Rwanda said that the workshop is a good start to boost horticulture farmers’ adoption of skills and technologies while ensuring post-harvest management. “We work with farmers and agri-entrepreneurs to make sure that they adopt a strategic business approach to their work with more professionalism.” Gasasira noted.

On the wayward of participants of the workshop, Sibomana Sylivestre, a farmer of tomatoes in Rukumberi sector of Ngoma District said that the workshop was an opportunity for them to acquire more knowledge on best and cheap agricultural practices and post-harvest management.  

“It was usual for me to face a lot of challenges during harvest period. I could make losses due to the lack of skills and what I used to call means. It is not the case. With simple equipments and tools designed by local artisans we can overcome such constraints by reducing those losses.” He explained.

The Reduction of Post-Harvest Losses in Rwanda project is supported by the USAID Feed the Future Program initiated by the Horticulture Innovation Lab/University of California Davis.

Published on 31st January, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

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