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Post-harvest losses cited as major snag

POST-harvest losses (PHLs) are said to be claiming more than 30 per cent of grains in each harvesting season in Tanzania, becoming a serious threat to the in incomes of farmers and the nation at large.

This is equivalent to 1.3 million metric tons of maize and other food crops which go to waste due to poor storage methods.

Opening a four-day expert and stakeholders meeting here yesterday, a food security expert from the Ministry of Agriculture, Dr Honest Kessy, noted that the loses losses affect them economically.

Dr Kessy described PHLs as critical problems that affect multiple value chains, posing threats to overall food security.

“A staggering fifty per cent of harvested grains is lost due to lack of proper ways of handling, transporting and storing farm produce and this could lead to a potential food crisis in the country,” warned the expert.

In Tanzania, studies have revealed that PHLs range between 15 and 40 per cent, depending on the type of crop. The situation is even worse on the continental level, according to Dr Kessy.

“For instance, Africa alone loses more than 100 milion metric tons of grains per year, making it even difficult to achieve and realize the Malabo Declaration,” he observed.

Such warnings come hot on the heels of revelations that the government was in need of 111.89bn/-to address PHLs as the country suffered a shortage of current and realistic data for implementing its strategic development plans.

CONSTRUCTION works on the eagerly awaited Serengeti airport ...

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Author: EDWARD QORRO in Arusha

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