THE Tanzania Association of Professional Business Development Service Providers (TAPBDS) Company Ltd has been hailed for supporting government to address post-harvest losses.
Speaking on behalf of Kagera Regional Commissioner (RC) Brig-Gen Marco Gaguti during the handover of 15 threshing machines, 11 motorcycles and seven tractors worth 151m/- to small and medium entrepreneurs from Kagera and Kigoma regions in Bunazi Township, Missenyi District, on Friday, Missenyi District Commissioner (DC) Col Denice Mwila said: "On behalf of the government, I sincerely express my gratitude to TAPBDS and Agra Ltd for their timely support.
Post-harvest losses claim more than 30 per cent of grains each harvesting season. This can cost a smallholder family up to 40 per cent of the total income," he said.
Mr Mwila explained that farm technologies were of great importance because they helped farmers to improve crop quality, address poverty alleviation and also save time wasted in threshing crops manually.
Acting TAPBDS Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Edwin Mengistu informed him that a six-month pilot project expected to cost $236,000 was implemented in seven regions, including Iringa, Njombe, Kagera, Ruvuma, Kigoma, Mbeya and Katavi.
"Under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between farmers and Agra Company, a beneficiary will pay 40 per cent of the cost, while Agra will pay 60 per cent," he said.
In Tanzania, studies have revealed that post-harvest losses range between 15 and 40 per cent, depending on the type of the crop. The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) estimates that about 1.3 billion tonnes of food every year get lost or wasted. This amounts to about $680 billion in industrialised countries and $310 billion in developing countries.
Huge post-harvest losses are a threat to food security, incomes and livelihoods of many households in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).
While in industrialised countries, more than 40 per cent of losses occur at a retail and consumer stage in developing countries and by contrast more than 40 per cent of food losses occur at post-harvest and processing level.
The government, in collaboration with other stakeholders, has developed a national post-harvest management strategy. For the country to achieve post-harvest loss reduction by at least 50 per cent (as per the Malabo commitment), the strategy needs to be effectively implemented.