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News: KOICA funds new FAO project to improve post-harvest management in Ethiopia

The Project will build the capacities of stakeholders and promote post-harvest technologies for maize, wheat, honey, and milk.

Addis Abeba, September 23/2021 – With funding from the Korea International  Cooperation Agency (KOICA), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has launched a new USD 1.5 million project to improve post-harvest management of maize, wheat, honey, and milk in the Amhara region of Ethiopia.

Speaking at the launching workshop of the workshop in the Amhara Region on 16 September 2021, Mr. Lee Byunghwa, the Country Director, KOICA Ethiopia said the project is part of the Government of Korea’s broader efforts to improve agricultural production in Ethiopia. “Addressing post-harvest losses is a key step in realizing the full potential of the agriculture sector”, he said.

The 4-year “Increasing agricultural productivity through enhanced post-harvest management capacity” project will build post-harvest management capacities of stakeholders including farmers, agricultural extension agents, as well as youth artisans who will fabricate and market post-harvest handling technologies. The project will also produce and disseminate knowledge products to enhance understanding of post-harvest management of the selected value chains. In addition, it will support the establishment and implementation of Farmer Field Schools that will be community-based learning platforms for postharvest management practices.

Ms. Fatouma Seid, the FAO Representative in Ethiopia said, “The project will boost FAO’s ongoing efforts to reduce post-harvest losses using proven technologies and practices”.

Recent studies conducted by FAO have highlighted that significant losses occur after crops are harvested up to the time they are consumed

Postharvest losses in Ethiopia

Recent studies conducted by FAO have highlighted that significant losses occur after crops are harvested up to the time they are consumed (FAO, 2017). The critical loss points for most of the crops are harvesting, threshing, and storage.

FAO assessment studies in Ethiopia found that the post-harvest loss assessment of wheat ranges from 15-21 percent whereas the loss for maize ranges from 19-23 percent. Post-harvest losses in milk and honey are associated with poor handling, contamination, and conservation, among others.

Integrating smallholder farmers into commercial value chains

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Post-harvest losses and poor management practices are some of the major factors hindering smallholder farmers from integrating into commercial value chains.

“Empowering farmers with post-harvest skills and technologies will enable them to produce good quality products that meet the recommended standards thereby opening new opportunities to deliver quality products to Bure  Integrated Agro-Industrial Park”, said Ms. Seid.

The project will ensure the inclusion of women by identifying and promoting  women-friendly post-harvest handling and processing technologies and innovations.

FAO’s support to postharvest management in Ethiopia

FAO supports the Government of Ethiopia to develop appropriate policy frameworks and promote post-harvest management technologies and practices. The Organization supported the development of the Post-Harvest Management Strategy in Grains and a business model for the fabrication and dissemination of metal silos.

As part of the implementation of the Strategy, the Government of Ethiopia approved duty-free tax for post-harvest handling technologies and raw materials, such as galvanized sheet metal for fabricating metal silos.

Because of national capacity building and advocacy efforts, Ethiopia now observes an annual National Post-Harvest Management Week that brings stakeholders together to share information.

FAO has trained extension staff and farmers to improve their knowledge and skills to reduce post-harvest losses and use the introduced grain storage technologies (hermetic bags and metal silos).

In addition, in efforts to increase local production and distribution of metal silos, FAO organized, trained, and provided youth artisans with the necessary equipment to produce and sell metal silos to local farmers.

Partnerships and geographical coverage

FAO will jointly implement the new project with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, the Amhara Regional State’s Bureau of Agriculture, Amhara Industrial Park Development Corporation, Bure Integrated Agro-Industry Park, and the Ministry of Trade and Industry. Others are the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research, Amhara Institute of Agricultural Research, Rural Transformation Centers, the private sector, and smallholder farmers.

The project will be implemented in six Woredas of East Gojam Zone (Hulet Iju Enese, Sede, Enarji Enawuga, Enebsie Sar Mider, Goncha Siso Enese, and Bibugn) in the Amhara region. Dispatch

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