Farm Radio International is bringing our success with social and behaviour change communication to an important global issue: food loss. Together with media partners Access Agriculture and Mediae, we will work through several communication channels to support Africa’s small-scale farmers to reduce post-harvest loss.
Our Reducing post-harvest loss project will develop a communication strategy encompassing radio, television, cellphones and mobile videos that will bridge the gap between farmers’ awareness and adoption of improved farming practices as well as technologies that reduce post-harvest loss. This project is supported by The Rockefeller Foundation through its YieldWise initiative.
An estimated one-third of harvested food never makes it to plate. Fruits and vegetables rot in the field, spoil at the market, or go unused at home. In sub-Saharan Africa, 40% of root crops, 50% of fruits and vegetables and 20% of cereals are lost before they hit the market, with more lost between purchase and consumption.
Cutting post-harvest losses means more food for farmers and communities, and more income too. This is why we are collaborating with partners in Nigeria, Kenya and Tanzania as part of an international effort to address food loss.
YieldWise is working to address food loss through a nexus of four opportunities: connecting farmers to markets; helping farmers access technologies and solutions to prevent crop loss; helping farmers access financing and technology to drive market growth; and engaging global businesses to address their supply chains.
At the local level, farmers can reduce post-harvest loss if they are better connected to markets and supported to meet buyer needs and expectations. Farmers also need access to existing or new technologies to fight pests, store their crops, and transport them to market. All of this requires effective, interactive communication and knowledge exchange platforms to bridge the gap between awareness and use of these techniques and technologies.
“Through radio, television and videos, the hope is that together we will spark discussions about post-harvest loss and good agricultural and marketing practices. Together we can improve the knowledge of farmers and support them to access and use technologies and practices that will significantly reduce the amount of food that is lost before getting to the consumer,” said Blythe McKay, Director of Broadcaster Resources.
Farm Radio International is leading the way by working with radio partners in Kenya, Nigeria and Tanzania to develop interactive radio programs that share information about good agricultural practices, post-harvest handling, and market tips. Our programs will also connect farmers to input suppliers and buyers. These radio programs will provide farmers with the information they need to make informed decision about practices that will reduce the post-harvest loss in three important crops.
We will be working with PYXERA Global and TechnoServe, two YieldWise implementing partners in Nigeria who are sharing information about agricultural techniques and post-harvest storage technologies that can reduce post-harvest loss in the tomato value chain. Tomatoes are typically harvested at specific times leading to oversupply and since they are highly perishable, it is difficult for Nigerian farmers to store their crop. Promising practices include staggered planting, using crates for transport, as well as Zero-energy cooling chambers.
TechnoServe is also our partner in Kenya, where they have been working in the mango value chain to help farmers select the right varieties for domestic and export markets, as well as helping farmers to manage pests using fly traps and properly handle the fruit post-harvest.
Maize is a staple crop in many countries, where farmers store it to feed their families or livestock long after harvest. In Tanzania, we will be working with Alliance for a Green Revolution (AGRA) to support farmers to reduce pests and mold in stored maize. Mold is a major concern for farmers, because it develops aflatoxins, a poison of which farmers are not adequately aware.
To learn more about the Reducing post-harvest loss project, please contact:
Blythe McKay, Director of Broadcaster Resources, 613-761-3652, [email protected]
About Farm Radio International
Farm Radio International is the only international non-profit organization dedicated exclusively to serving African farming families and rural communities through radio.
Why radio? Even in the most remote communities in rural Africa, people have radio. It serves young and old, men and women, those who are literate and those who are not. Done well, rural
radio programs have the power to transform lives for the better. That’s why Farm Radio International has been working since 1979 to help radio serve Africa’s small-scale farmers. When they have access to the information they need, when they need it, farmers are able to grow more and better food and enjoy better health and economic security.
With more than 700 radio partners across 40 sub-Saharan African countries, Farm Radio International currently reaches tens of millions of small-scale farmers with life-changing information and opportunities to have a stronger voice in their own development.
About The Rockefeller Foundation
For more than 100 years, The Rockefeller Foundation’s mission has been to promote the well-being of humanity throughout the world. Together with partners and grantees, The Rockefeller Foundation strives to catalyze and scale transformative innovations, create unlikely partnerships that span sectors, and take risks others cannot – or will not. For more information, please visit www.rockefellerfoundation.org.
About Access Agriculture
Access Agriculture is an international NGO that promotes innovations in sustainable agriculture and rural enterprises through capacity development and South-South exchange of quality farmer-to-farmer training videos in local languages.
Through a delicate balance of entertainment and education, Mediae produces pioneering and inspirational media in order to supply vital knowledge in forms that can be widely accessed and understood. And, in so doing, empower the lives of millions of viewers.
Mediae produces the popular Kenyan television show “Shamba Shape Up.” This “make-over” style reality show shares technical farming information and entertains at the same time. It is watched by millions of people on Citizen TV in Kenya and the program will soon be airing in Tanzania.