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Postharvest handling and storage

 

In the small Dar Sallam village, millet is packed before storage as part of the postharvest process

 

Farmers have been producing sufficient staple food products, but insufficient innovation in post-harvest issues, storage and value addition through processing have kept them in the vicious circle of endemic food insecurity and poverty.

 

The cost and challenge of postharvest losses have led to postharvest and agro-processing promotion becoming the second pillar of the value chain extension model of SAA. Interventions in this area, involve promotion of improved postharvest handling and storage technologies and their associated management.

 

Among the improved postharvest and agro-processing technologies promoted have been tarpaulins and grain cleaners to produce good quality millet and sorghum, locally produced rice par-boilers and groundnut decorticators by women to add value to their produce. This equipment contributed to a reduction in labour drudgery and increased income for women. The interventions also contributed to improved access of farmers to mechanized postharvest technologies provided by farmers’ cooperative enterprises and private service providers. In 2014, SAA introduced hermetic storage facilities which are helping to control insects and pests without the use of insecticides. These include sealed plastic tanks which are now being used for storing staple crops specifically millet, sorghum, maize, cowpea, and groundnuts.

 

Input suppliers have been linked to the farmers groups in SAA interventions sites to ensure the continued availability of technologies and materials to farmers.