Farmer learning session on good storage technologies held at Nangodi

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Science Technology Farmers
Science Technology Farmers

A day farmer learning session on good storage technologies has been held at Nangodi in the Nabdam District, Upper East Region, to help improve grain storage and minimise post–harvest losses (PHLs).

The 115 farmers, who participated, were drawn from six communities, Soaliga, Nakpaliga, Kaline, Nakpal Zoya, Nakpal Selug and Nangodi and were taken through fabricated metal storage technology, airtight plastic drums and PIC bags methods of storage.

The exercise was organised by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Savanna Agriculture Research Institute (CSIR –SARI) in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture.

Dr Issah Sugri, a Post-Harvest Specialist at the CSIR –SARI, Manga Agricultural station in the Bawku Municipality, facilitated the session and took the farmers through steps of good harvesting, drying of grains, good shelling and winnowing practices with the essence to obtain clean grain.

They also learnt the various types of storage vessels to use and their advantages as well as how to treat the grains with safe agro pesticides after harvest.

Dr Issah said the storage trials were established in November 2021 with grains of maize stored in airtight or hermetic storage methods such as poly sacks, Purdue Improved Crop Storage (PIC ) bags, plastic drums and metal silos with some of the grains treated with and without neem seed oil before the storage.

According to him, the scientists collected data on insect damage, grain moisture and post- harvest losses to assess efficiency of the storage method.

The farmers took turns to assess the grains that were over one year in storage to check their quality and which among the different methods had its contents degraded.

The farmers were happy and expressed their gratitude for such an eye-opening skill exposure and asked questions on access to the storage vessels.

Dr Issah, after the demonstration session, in an interview, said the project planned to establish community demonstrations to show best practices to minimize food losses in northern Ghana.

The project under the ‘EU Horizon 2020 Project’ will link East and West Africa Farming Systems Experience in a BELT of Sustainable Intensification dubbed EWA –BELT, piloted in four districts namely, Nabdam, Talensi, West Mamprusi and Savelugu, for the establishment of community demonstration of the technologies.
He said similar activities would be replicated in other areas in future.

Speaking on Post- harvest losses in the region, he said it depended on the crop but was on the average low.
For instance, soya beans records two to four per cent losses, 6-7 per cent in sorghum and millet, six to seven per cent, maize 9-12 per cent and beans 17 to 22 per cent.

He said perishables such as tomato and frafra potatoes, among others were as high as 40 per cent and noted that by introducing good storage methods, PHL could reduce the losses to less than 10 per cent.

“If 10 per cent of your harvest is lost it is very huge because you will lose one bag when you are handling 10bags and it becomes 10 bags when handling 100 bags and one tonne when handling one metric tonne and that is big enough to feed a whole village, that is why the 10 per cent of PHL is not acceptable”, he said.

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