Farmers in the Upper West Region loses about 30% of Sorghum produced to post-harvest losses according to Dr Jerry Nboyine, an Entomologist at the Savanna Agricultural Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR-SARI).
He also revealed that the region losses more than 25 percent of millet produced due to poor post-harvest handling.
He further revealed that 20 to 50 percent of yam produced in Northern Ghana did not make it to the final consumer, adding that the level of losses occurring in tomatoes production, ranged between 10 to 50 percent.
He attributed the situation to poor training of farmers in the region on post-harvest management.
Dr. Jerry Nboyine revealed this during the Regional Post-Harvest Losses Forum organized by the Ghana Trades and Livelihood Coalition (GTLC) in collaboration with SNV under the Voice for Change (V4C) partnership project in Wa on Tuesday 29th January, 2019.
Dr. Jerry Nboyine also mentioned shelling, cleaning, sorting and grading, packaging, storage and transportation as critical areas that affect post-harvest quality of farm produce.
He said farmers in the region have still not achieved their maximum potential in spite of several interventions and attributed it to high post-harvest losses.
The Forum was under the theme “From Policy to practice, realizing the Socio-Economic benefits of addressing post –harvest losses.”
Government is in the process of constructing seven (7) warehouses in the Upper West Region under the one district one warehouse initiative to manage post–harvest losses according to the Deputy Upper West Regional minister, Amidu Issahaku Chinnia.
Speaking on behalf of the regional minister, Alhassan Sulemana, the deputy minister admitted that post-harvest lose is still a major challenge for farmers in the region and must be tackled with all seriousness.
He said government under the planting for Food and Jobs Programme is recruiting 3,000 extension officers to support and educate farmers on best farming practice including the management of post –harvest losses.
The Upper West Regional Environmental Desk officer, Mr. Frederick Domah Vuozie speaking on behalf of the Regional Director of Agriculture, Mr Emmanuel Sasu Yeboah commended government for the various initiatives and interventions to revamp the agricultural sector.
He said the Upper West region records the least post-harvest losses in the northern part of the country.
He revealed that 27 percent of rice produced in the region was lost due to poor post-harvest handling.
He also said 70% of maize cultivated in the region did not make it to the final consumer.
He said groundnut and yam produced in the region losses about 80 percent and 60 percent to post-harvest handling respectively.