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Thursday, 13 April 2017 17:14

Farmers warned against post harvest losses

Written by  Yamikani Sabola
A woman harvests maize from a field - Pic from the internet A woman harvests maize from a field - Pic from the internet

Dedza, April 13, 2017: Dedza District Agriculture Development Office says the country risks failing to realize prospects of food sustenance this year if farmers do not take good care of their harvests.

District Agriculture Development Officer (DADO) for Dedza, Osmund Chapotoka said this Wednesday when he official opening of a crop storage warehouse constructed by Rab Processors Limited (RPL) with support from United States Aid for International Development (USAID).

He said one of the factors contributing to post harvest losses is poor storage facilities which farmers use.

Chapotoka said, “Lack of adequate and proper storage facilities in the communities is one of the challenges farmers face. This is resulting in spoilage of food grains either due to rotting or infestation by weevils.”

He advised farmers against selling their maize to vendors who he said have flooded the communities and are buying the commodity at low prices.

“Some farmers have already started selling their maize to vendors at very low prices however they will be forced to buy the same maize later at higher prices. We are discouraging all vendors from starting to buy maize now as it will fuel theft since most people have not yet harvested their maize,” the DADO said.

General Manager for RPL responsible for Commercials, Bashir Sama, said the warehouse will make it possible for farmers to keep their produce longer and sell when prices are better.

He said the company has made an arrangement with Agriculture Commodities Exchange (ACE) who will be linking the farmers to buyers when they want to sell their produce.

The warehouse is designed to hold about 3,000 metric tonnes of grain which farmers in the district can use at a small fee to cater for cleaning, fumigation and storage of their harvests.

The country is expecting bumper harvest after getting good rains in the 2016/2017 growing season.

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