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HAPPENING NOW! Ministry of Agriculture, FAO unveils strategy for national grain post harvest management

Dr. Mireille Totobesola FAO Project Manager (R), Antonio Luis Evora Querido, the FAO Country Representative (M), Ryan Anderson, the deputy Country Director WFP Uganda at the validation of National Post Loss management strategy in Kampala on Thursday. (PHOTO/NAMULI)

KAMPALA – The Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) in partnership with Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has on May 30, validated the action plan for national grain post-harvest management at Golf course hotel in Kampala.

The ministry, alongside FAO, is teaming up with World Food Program (WFP), International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) to drive the plan on improving food security and the contribution of the agriculture sector to the national economy.

These interventions are aimed at reducing food losses and reduced household incomes therefrom.

The strategy involves increasing general awareness to trigger mindset change towards this drive,  enhancing the knowledge and skills of post-harvest loss.

In the same plan, there is increasing availability, accessibility, adoption and utilization of appropriate and improved grain post-harvest and quality enhancing technologies.

Pius Wakabi Kasajja, the Permanent Secretary of MAAIF remarked that the ministry is looking at specifically gain and fruits for the start.

Mr. Kasajja said the biggest number of farmers plant grains, “At least we need to improve the income levels of our people.”

He noted that the Ministry plans to see that farmers are equipped with good strategies on proper harvesting, drying, storage and marketing of grain.

A group photo of officials at the validation event of National Post-harvest management Strategy in Kampala on Thursday. (PHOTO/NAMULI)

Mr. Wakabi added that this is a process, “we start from acquiring money, procurement of equipment and the installation of these processing facilities.”

“We have installed processing facilities in Luwero and Northern Uganda. It a process,” he added.

According to FAO, in Uganda, poor post-harvest management remains among the biggest impediments to the growth of the agriculture sector.

The policy brief shows that post-harvest loss in Uganda currently stands at 17.6% for maize, 12.4% for millet and 13.5% for rice.

“Food losses contribute to and exacerbate hunger, poverty and food insecurity as well as unsafe food for consumption. It is, therefore hoped that the strategy will provide effective interventions that will preserve harvests, enhance the quality and market value of grains and increase food security and income of value chain actors,” FAO reports.

The implementation of the plan according to the partners will see fast track Uganda’s progress towards achieving post-harvest loss reduction of grains value chains.

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