Agritech West Africa Exhibition Puts Spotlight on Critical Food Storage Needs

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Agritech West Africa Exhibition Puts Spotlight on Critical Food Storage Needs

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Agritech West Africa Exhibition Puts Spotlight on Critical Food Storage Needs

Agritech West Africa Exhibition Puts Spotlight on Critical Food Storage Needs

The third edition of the Agritech West Africa exhibition, accompanied by Food & Beverage Ghana and FoodPack Tech Ghana exhibitions, shed light on the pressing issue of food wastage due to inadequate storage facilities in Ghana.

During an interview at the exhibition, Mr. Yaw Adu Poku, representing the Competitive Africa Rice Platform, emphasized the critical need for improved storage infrastructure in the country. Poku highlighted the significant losses incurred due to the lack of proper storage mechanisms, particularly affecting seasonal farmers who rely on rain-fed agriculture.

“We have not made any effort to address this issue over the decades,” Poku remarked. “When the harvest comes, everyone harvests at the same time, but without adequate storage, a substantial portion, around 60 percent, goes to waste.”

Poku stressed that this wastage not only impacts farmers’ livelihoods but also contributes to food inflation, as the costs of the lost produce are passed on to consumers. “Without proper storage, the market prices shoot up, affecting everyone,” he said.

Addressing the specific challenges faced by rice farmers, Poku highlighted the discrepancy between production and storage capacity. “Ghana produces about 1.4 million metric tonnes of milled rice annually, but we lack the capacity to store it,” he explained. “Farmers are left with no choice but to sell their produce immediately after harvest, leading to significant losses.”

Poku advocated for urgent government intervention to invest in storage facilities, especially for perishable crops like rice. “If we are serious about food security, we need to prioritize storage infrastructure,” he asserted. “Without proper storage, achieving food security goals will remain elusive.”

Responding to questions about existing government initiatives such as the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) program, Poku expressed cautious optimism. “The PFJ program has the potential to benefit farmers by mopping up excess produce,” he acknowledged. “However, its effectiveness remains to be seen. We need to give it time to determine whether it will truly alleviate the challenges faced by farmers.”

Poku concluded by urging policymakers to implement bold policies aimed at improving storage infrastructure across the country. “Storage facilities are essential for ensuring food security and reducing post-harvest losses,” he emphasized. “It’s time for Ghana to prioritize this issue and invest in long-term solutions.”

In response to Poku’s statements, government officials reiterated their commitment to addressing the challenges faced by farmers. “We recognize the importance of storage infrastructure in enhancing food security,” stated a representative from the Ministry of Agriculture. “We are actively exploring ways to improve storage facilities and support farmers in minimizing post-harvest losses.”

Stakeholders are hopeful that the discussions and insights shared will pave the way for concrete action to address the pressing issue of food wastage in Ghana. With collaboration between government, industry, and agricultural stakeholders, there is optimism that sustainable solutions can be implemented to ensure a more resilient food system for the future.

Source: Thebftonline

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