Dr Hafiz Bin Salih, the Upper West Regional Minster has welcomed an initiative of the Ghana Trade and Livelihood Coalition (GTLC) to coordinate efforts of actors in the agricultural value chain to mitigate the impact of Post Harvest Loss on the sector.
The initiative dubbed: “Post Harvest Loss Management Platform” engineered by the GTLC under the Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV), was a multi-stakeholder platform that sought to harmonize efforts of individuals and organizations in the fight against Post Harvest Loss (PHL).
It comprised the media, research institutions, government and non-governmental agencies, Civil Society Organisations and farmers among others.
Presenting the key note address at the launch of the platform in WA on Tuesday, on the theme: “Addressing Post harvest Loss for Sustainable Food Value Chain in Ghana”, Dr Bin Salih indicated that it was the sole interest of government to ensure that the challenges inherent in the agricultural sector were addressed to improve the sector.
He noted that farmers were faced with diverse challenges including PHL which, according to him, affected their economic fortunes negatively.
“It should be appreciated that post harvest loss is therefore real in terms of quantity and quality of products and therefore a matter of concern to all stakeholders in agriculture.
In the light of the afore-mentioned, government has taken steps to address the issues of PHL through its programmes that are being implemented by the Ministry of Food And Agriculture (MOFA) which have components aimed at addressing the situation”, Dr Bin Salih said.
The Regional Minister pledged his unflinching support for the platform to ensure that it achieved the outmost results and said government was implementing its cutting edge policies and programmes as part of efforts to improve the sector.
Mr Emmanuel Sasu Yeboah, Upper West Regional Director, Department of Agriculture, noted that PHL could lead to food insecurity in the country as a large proportion of the food produced was lost.
He therefore lauded the GTLC and its partners for inaugurating the PHL management platform to address the menace.
“Food losses invariably contribute to high food prices by removing parts of the food supply from the market. Food losses also impacts on the environment as land, water and non-renewable resources such as fertilizer and energy are used to produce, handle; process and transport food that no one consumes.
Mitigating PH losses can therefore improve food security by increasing food availability, incomes and nutrition without the need to employ extra production resources”, Mr Yeboah explained.
On his part, Mr Eric Banye, Programme Officer for the SNV, stated that the launch of the platform was a mile stone in the fight against post harvest loss.
He noted that the Upper West Region was one of the key regions in the country that could leverage on the potential of agriculture to engage the teaming youth in the region.
Mr Banye thus stressed the need for all hands on deck to address issues of PHL and other challenges inhibiting the sector to make it attractive and to benefit farmers.
Mr Ibrahim Akalbila, Executive Director for the GTLC, commended the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC), Department of Agriculture and other partners for their immense contribution to addressing the issue of PHL in the region.
The GTLC, through the SNV’s V4C partnership, had been focused on evidence based advocacy to address the menace leading to the launch of the Post Harvest Management platform.
“The V4C programme, I must say, created an enabling environment for the GTLC and other CSOs of that type for the use of evidence based advocacy”, said Mr Akalbilla.