A business forum to promote the adoption of cost-effective and proven storage technologies among small holder farmers has been held at Yendi, in the Northern Region.
The forum, attended by small holder farmers, aggregators, input dealers, processors and other agri-business enterprises, was also to establish a network between Farmer-based Organisations (FBO) and post-harvest losses (PHL) management enterprises for business development.
Presentations and discussions at the forum centered on the common types of PHL, approaches to mitigating PHL, and the best practices in the adoption of cost-effective technologies to achieving zero PHL during storage for maize, cowpea, rice and other cereals.
Three cost-effective PHL technologies were promoted during the forum for small holder farmers to adopt to achieve zero PHL and they included hermetic storage bags and metal silos for storage and "Bambam" Box for threshing of rice.
The Northern Development Society (NORDESO), an NGO, under the Voices for Change Partnership Programme (V4C), organised the forum as part of measures to increase private sector investment in PHL management.
The V4C is an initiative of the Netherlands Development Organization (SNV), which highlights issues of food and nutrition, PHL, water, sanitation and hygiene and clean energy.
Statistics from the Yendi Municipal Department of Agriculture shows that PHL in maize and soya beans in the area currently stood at 20 per cent and 30 per cent respectively whilst much loss was being recorded at field and storage levels hence the need for the PHL technologies to address the situation.
Mr Shani Abubakari, a Project Officer of NORDESO, who spoke on PHL management during the forum, made a case for the adoption of Hermetic "PICS" bags saying evidence abound that whilst insecticides and pesticides protected against such losses, their usage during storage might pose health concerns.
He said "PICS provide consistent and higher returns to storage than other options when storing the harvest for a longer period of time, even when the opportunity cost of capital is high. As such farmers can capture the economic gains from grain storage over a longer period".
Mr Abubakari also spoke about the 'Bam Bam' Box technology saying its use could reduce losses associated with rice threshing by over 80 per cent.
He said Bam Bam boxes could be made by any standard handy man with the right measurements.
Madam Noami Wumbie of Wunpini Agrochemicals Company Limited expressed the company's readiness to offer a 10 per cent discount on purchases of 100 pieces of "PICS" bags through an organized FBO purchase agreements.
Mr Saaka Jamani, Yendi Municipal Crop Officer, urged farmers to take advantage of the available technologies to better their farming business.
Mr Dawuni Yakubu, a farmer, lauded the forum adding that his FBO was ready to adopt the new technology introduced for rice threshing to reduce