No belly left behind

Creative methods of food preservation can help drastically reduce post-harvest losses.

Creative methods of food preservation can help drastically reduce post-harvest losses.

Many agricultural organizations are working hard to ensure that no belly in Africa remains unfed and no African is left hungry.

The amount of post-harvest losses incurred by farmers are quite often at high and devastating levels. Many times, the amount of food available at harvest time could be used to feed an entire village but due to poor preservation capabilities they quickly go to waste. There are different approaches being taken to reduce the severity of post-harvest losses in Africa,  but the West Africa Agricultural Productivity Program (WAAPP) has successfully made use of one very interesting method.

WAAPP presented its strategy at the 6th FARA Africa Agriculture Science Week (AASW6), ongoing in Accra, Ghana.

WAAPP, which is a new program sponsored by the World Bank, focuses specifically on the post-harvest perservation of plantains.  So far, WAPP has introduced ways to use plantain flour, which is produced from grounded dry plantain, to make pastries such as cakes, Madeleine, chips and pies, among other things.

In Ivory Coast, plantain is the most important crop both economically and for subsistence purposes. WAAPP’s approach to preserve post-harvest plantains will go a long way to feed the population there.  Amencho Adiko, the National Coordinator for WAAPP in Ivory Coast, mentioned the goal of the program: “Post-harvest losses are [currently] around 30-40%, but by using this method we hope to reduce the amount to 10%.”

If WAAPP can successfully bring post-harvest losses to 10% or less, many more African mouths will be fed both in Ivory Coast and beyond.

Blogpost by Toluwani Adekunle, a social media reporter for AASW6.

 

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