Tegemeo at the Expert and Stakeholder Workshop on Waste and Spoilage Issues, Challenges Facing Smallholder Farmers and Potential Intervention Points

Tegemeo Institute participated in the expert and stakeholder workshop organized by Abt Associates, who have been contracted by AGRA to conduct a study on post harvest losses (PHL) in three value chains namely maize, beans and tomatoes.

The workshop was held at the Maanzoni Lodge, in Lukenya on 9th and 10th April, 2014 and had participants drawn from the County governments, State Department of Agriculture, public universities, research institutions, parastatals, NGOs and the private sector. The objective of the workshop was to discuss the PHL, which small scale farmers are facing in the three value chains. The technologies and innovations that are currently available for addressing the losses were also discussed.

It was noted that reducing PHL in the three value chains is critical for increasing food availability and poverty alleviation. One of the suggestions was that there is need to make improved technologies and innovations affordable and accessible to small-scale farmers. Such innovations and measures include, sun drying over tarpaulin, sieving the grain to remove debris before bagging, keeping grain cobs in well aerated cribs while awaiting drying, proper stacking of bags, carrying out regular inspection, pest and rodent control, use of Purdue improved bags and metal silos, among others.

The team recommended strategies to minimize PHL such as capacity building on post- harvest management measures among small holder farmers, encouraging formation of farmer groups to access post-harvest management interventions, marketing services and access to post harvest handling facilities such as moisture meters, tarpaulins and driers. Active partnerships between the government and the private sector to support smallholder farmers to access the technologies/innovation and end markets are also crucial.