According to the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG), persistent post-harvest losses have forced many farmers to downsize their farms, which might lead to a food scarcity and intensifying the country’s current rise in food prices.
According to Dr. Charles Nyaaba, Head of Programmes and Advocacy at PFAG, inadequate technology, poor storage facilities, poor roads, and even improper handling of produce have been the main causes of post-harvest losses, necessitating increased government efforts to solve the age-old issue.
“The country’s post-harvest situation has not experienced any positive change. The infrastructure and feeder roads to farming communities are still bad.
“Farms have to sell their produce on time to avoid keeping them and encountering post-harvest losses. There are other instances when farmers have to ensure that they do not produce in large quantities, so they reduce their farm sizes to what they can take care of,” he said in an interview with the B&FT.
Dr. Nyaaba believes that because farmers still rely on old production techniques, the government must prioritise and consciously invest in the agriculture industry.
“If you take a crop like soya beans, farmers have to harvest using their hands; and because the rainfall patterns are not reliable, if they are unable to harvest them on time. They scatter and can have about 40 percent losses. Same for rice, especially when access to combine harvesters is difficult and expensive during the time other farmers are also harvesting. I once lost part of my rice farm to bush-fire because we could not finish early,” he noted.