Post-harvest management challenges disrupting PFJ gains – Esoko

Agricultural technical and research firm, Esoko, has observed that post-harvest management challenges is derailing gains of Government’s flagship Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) programme.

It has observed that though the country had been recording high yields in production for some time, boosted by the PFJ programme, challenges found in the transportation, processing and storage value chain were negating the gains.

Esoko said that had also contributed to fluctuations in food prices in the country .

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Accra, Mr Francis Danso-Adjei, a Content Manager at Esoko, said, when post-harvest management challenges were resolved, the PFJ would contribute immensely to stabilising the prices of food commodities that often fluctuated on the market during off seasons.

Mr Danso-Adjei noted that overcoming the post-harvest challenge was a shared responsibility between the private sector and the Government.

He, therefore, urged the government to come up with a well-thought out policy and provide the needed funding that would support the private sector to address the challenges.

“After production what normally happens is that along the [post-harvest] chain, it goes into the hands of traders, aggregators and others, and most of these people in the industry are in the private sector.

“So what the government can do is to facilitate the establishment of more warehouses and access to vehicles to enable them [individuals and companies] to buy the produce and find their own storage if they do not have access to the storage from the Government,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mr Bagbara Tanko, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) for the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), has indicated that the Ministry had put in place interventions to address the challenges.

He said the interventions included the establishment of warehouses, procurement of harvesters and other handheld machines, as well as rice milling machines for mechanisation purposes.

Among others, he indicated that the Ministry imported a total of 8,980 units of various machinery and equipment and distributed between 2019 and 2020 to 927 beneficiaries made up of 33 District Assemblies and individuals.

Additionally, there had been the completion of 21 warehouses, which formed part of a total of 80 with the capacity to store up to 80,000 metric tonnes of food items, aimed at ensuring food security in the country.

Mr Tanko said he was confident that those interventions would position PFJ to change the narrative.

Source: GNA

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