Stakeholders in agriculture urged to focus attention on post-harvest losses

Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Minister, MoFA

The Coordinator of the Ghana Trade and Livelihoods Coalition (GTLC), Mr Ibrahim Akalbila, has called on stakeholders in the agricultural value chain to focus attention on addressing the challenges of Post- Harvest Losses (PHL) in the country.

Mr Akalbila said a newly created PHL management platform under the partnership support of the Voice for Change programme of SNV – a Dutch Non- Governmental Organization, has been established to help stakeholders to work towards finding sustainable solutions to the challenges of PHL.

The platform, spearheaded by the GTLC, would harness expertise from the private sector, stakeholders in the agricultural value chain and research institutions.

Its goal is to ensure that stakeholders in the post-harvest handling chain have access to improved PHL management information, knowledge and technologies to contribute to addressing post-harvest losses in the country.

Addressing the media at Bolgatanga, Mr Akalbila said the management platform was rolled out early this year to start in the Upper West Region on pilot basis to help deal progressively with PHL in the country.

He said the effort will lead stakeholders to set an agenda for the development of strategic plans that would be implemented in other districts to address the perennial challenge.

“When we are losing so much after harvest, it is worth it to team up to stem the challenges”, he said.

Mr Akalbila said Post Harvest Loss was a concern for the country, hence the need for a link-up  by all stakeholders including research and academic institutions on the platform who would contribute their expertise and research outcomes to serve as basis for  learning for all on the platform.

Ghana loses about 8.9 million dollars annually after harvest with about 20 to 50 percent of all vegetables, fruits, cereals, roots and tubers produced each year getting perished.

Mr Emmanuel Wullingdool, a policy officer of GTLC, also in an interview, said apart from governmental agencies in agriculture and the private sector, the role of the media is key in the dissemination of information related to post harvest losses and outcomes of research that deal in management of PHL.