Following post harvest food losses, farmers in Kabarole have resorted to innovative techniques to solve the problem.
Farmers in Kabarole have resorted to local maize cribs to control post harvest food losses.
A report jointly released by the Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Bank on Tuesday, says sub-Sahara Africa is losing as much as 4 billion dollars every year due to post-harvest grain losses.The report suggests that investing in post-harvest technologies to reduce food losses could significantly increase the food supply in the region.
In Kabarole district, several farmers have been harvesting large quantities of maize and rice but most of which has been sent to waste due to poor cleaning, drying and storage facilities. Some people who have the facilities like stores have been charging the farmers highly to keep their produce.
Charles Amanyire, a maize farmer in Kamengo parish in Hakibale Sub County constructed a local maize crib in the compound of his home, where he stores his produce for more than six months. The crib has not only cut down his losses but also closed his expenditure on storage facilities.
Amanyire says he was spending more than 300,000 shillings on transport and storage of his maize in Fort Portal town.
He says that he spent 1.2 million shillings to construct the crib. Amanyire’s temporary structure is 10 feet long supported by thick pieces of wood. It can store 150 sacks of maize. It was built using sticks and covered with iron sheets and it has enough space to allow in enough air. Inside the structure, there is a raised platform where the maize is stacked.
He plans to teach other farmers on how to use the crib.
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Some farmers’ associations in the district have also constructed maize cribs to store their produce.
Kakindo Maize Farmers Association, in Harugongo parish, Kichwamba Sub County built a maize crib at a cost of 1.5 million shillings. The crib can store over 150 sacks of maize.
George Mwesige, the chairperson of the association says that members contributed money to build the crib. He says in the past, some farmers were storing the produce in their houses for a long time, exposing it to all forms of destructive elements like rodents and moisture.
Mwesige says they can store produce for more than eight months until they find market.
Amos Mugume, the Kabarole district production coordinator says that in the 2011/2012 financial year, money will be allocated for construction of stores and to purchase cleaning and drying machines for maize and rice.
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post harvest handling