Reducing post-harvest losses to increase the value of vegetable products
This policy brief (PDF) by NEPAD and ECOWAS discusses the post-harvest losses of vegetable products in West Africa and recommendations to reduce these losses. Currently, substantial amount of vegetables products are lost through limited availability of technologies and related infrastructure for post-harvest activities. These factors coupled with limited marketing outlets are contributing to product glutting and price volatility. The majority of producers produce the same type of crops, harvest around the same time and target the same markets. Consequently most of the products are not sold and thereby rendered lost. Recommendations given to tackle the problems associated with the post-harvest losses include matching grants to private sector actors in the vegetable post-harvest value chain; strategic cooperation and communication between research and extension; an action plan for upgrading of feeder roads; facilitation of market linkages with agribusinesses; communication and sensitization strategy and tools on appropriate timing and methods of harvesting; and nutrition education programmes.