Has said directed experts in the Ministry in collaboration with other stakeholders to conduct new research to determine the current statistics of post harvest loss for cereal crops, horticulture (Vegetables) and fruits to get new statistics that will help the government in planning and decision making processes.
Opening the High Level Dissemination Event for the National Post Harvest Management Strategy in Dar es Salaam recently, the Deputy Minister for Agriculture Omary Mgumba said that the current statistics have been in the books since 1990s and the government cannot longer rely on thebbsame for planning and decision making.
The National Post Harvest Management Strategy aimed at reduction of the crop losses after harvest and increasing food security, farmers’ income and the nation’s economy.
According to the Deputy Minister, the currents statistics for post harvest loss says the post harvest loss for cereal crops is between 30-40 percent while for horticulture (Vegetables) and Fruits the loss stands at more than 50 percent.
“The government has taken several measures to address the problem of post harvest loss by constructing ware houses and other high tech storage facilities in different districts and regions but statistics still remains the same as it was in the past. I direct experts to come up with new statistics that reflects the current real situation on the ground to help the government in the planning process,” he stressed.
He urged experts and other stakeholders to dedicate their efforts and to be committed in the implementation of the strategy to achieve the main objectives of the national, regional and international targets which aims at alleviating poverty, industrial economic growth and eventually attain sustainable development.
He said global food security is one of the well known challenges and different research show that by 2050 there shall be Nine billion people. Therefore, food requirement is expected to be 60 percent more than it is today.
To address this challenge, the UN is determined to fight hunger by ensuring food security, nutrition, address post harvest loss and enhance sustainable agriculture by 2030.
“Tackling post harvest loss is very important issue which need to be given priority by every stakeholder in the value chain. The government aims at reducing post harvest loss by 50 percent by 2025, he said.
Making his remarks from Private Sector and the farmers, Executive Director for Agricultural Non State Actors Forum (ANSAF) Audax Rukonge said that in order for successful implementation of the National Post Harvest Management Strategy, there is a need for allocation of adequate financial resources, keen coordination and management, and availability of innovative and cheap technologies affordable for the farmers.
Technical Advisor to the African Union on the Post harvest management and food losses reduction international consultant, Cephas Taruvinga said that the implementation of the strategy is in line with the AU requirements to reduce the post harvest loss.
The National Post Harvest Management Strategy was launched in August this year at the Nanenane exhibitions held at Nyakabindi, Bariadi, in Simiyu region by the Vice President Samia Suluhu.