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Business News of Monday, 13 July 2020

Source: Goldstreet Business

46k metric tons capacity warehouses ready for use

A total of forty-six thousand metric tonnes capacity warehouses have been added to the existing storage capacity under the One District One Warehouse initiative

Each of these warehouses has a storage capacity of 1,000 metric tonnes, which implies that 46 warehouses have been completed and ready for use, the National Food and Buffer Stock Company (NAFCO) has confirmed.

This figure is from a total of 80 warehouses being constructed across the country. Out of this total, 32 and 14 warehouses under the Ministry of Special Development Initiative and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture respectively are ready to augment any possible food excess in the country.

This initiative forms part of measures being implemented to address post-harvest losses. According to NAFCO, the Company has put in place all the necessary measures to accommodate all surplus that could arise due to bumper food harvest.

Each of these completed warehouses contains ancillary facilities including offices and laboratories, among others.

The post-harvest system comprises a range of interconnected activities, taking place from the time of harvest through to processing, marketing, preparation, and finally consumption decisions at the consumer level.

Each year, it is estimated that large quantities of foodstuffs, particularly, cereals are wasted at each of these stages before getting to the consumer.

In Ghana, for instance, assessments indicate that various farm produce estimated at more than US$700,000 is lost annually through post-harvest losses, with cereals being the most hit.

Recent data compiled by the Africa Post-harvest Losses Information System (APHLIS) – a private sector initiative on post-harvest losses in the sub-region – indicates that Ghana’s post-harvest losses from its four top-producing kinds of cereal being rice, maize, millet, and sorghum was valued closed to Ghc690 million.

In effect, the country loses more than one-tenth of these cereals produced to post-harvest losses annually due to impediments along the entire value chain.

Stakeholders in the agriculture sector are lamenting as the situation tends to impede efforts at ensuring food security and in turn make farming in the country unattractive, whiles poverty levels in Ghana keep surging.

Recently, some vegetable farmers in the country raised concerns about the impact of continuous post-harvest losses, insisting that there are no storage facilities and processing centres at their disposal.