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Agric Minister advocates measures to reduce post-harvest losses

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Kofi Humado - Agric Minister
Kofi Humado – Agric Minister

Mr Clement Kofi Humado, Minister of Food and Agriculture, on Friday advised nucleus farmers to support out-growers with drying facilities, silos and warehouses to curb post harvest losses.

“This should be done under off-taker contract arrangements with smallholder farmers,” he said.

Mr Humado gave the advice at the launch of the 29th National Farmers Day in Accra.

The National Farmers Day, which is scheduled for December 6, 2013, would be held on the theme: “Reducing Post-Harvest Losses for Sustainable Food Security and Nutrition.”

Sogakope, a town located at the South Tongu District of the Volta Region, is expected to play host to the national event.

Mr Humado disclosed that the United States Agency for International Development Advance Project with the collaboration of the Ghana Grains Council had initiated investments into model warehousing and receipt facilities.

He added that the project is with the support of consortium of banks.

Mr Humado said “such warehousing system offers services such as drying, cleaning, grading and storage in hermetically sealed bags”.

“At the end a receipt is issued for the grade of grain deposited by the farmer,” he added.

“The farmer is able to use the receipt to obtain any advances or loans from the participating banks that support the facility.”

Mr Humado said investment in proper transport, processing and packaging facilities is another means to reduce post harvest losses.

“Investment into agro-processing to convert grains and fruits immediately after harvest into various products including feed stuffs, fruit juices and other processed foods are also an important source of cutting back on post harvest losses.”

Mr Humado announced that the Ministry is undertaking measures to assist farmers especially smallholders to invest into post harvest loss control through extension agents to ensure good quality when their produce reach the markets fresh.

He said plans are far advanced to develop a comprehensive post-harvest strategy that would specifically address commodity challenges and emerging issues.

Mr Stephen Kpordzih, Managing Director of Agriculture Development Bank, pledged the corporate institution’s commitment to build a fully-furnished three-bedroom house for the winner of the 2013 National Farmers Day at the place of the winner’s choice.

Source: GNA

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