The event which took place from 27 to 29 January, brought together various actors in the food value chain, including international producers, national distributors, and marketing companies The United Nations World Food Program ( WFP) in Sudan organized a three-day workshop on post-harvest losses, to discuss ways to reduce food losses through solutions such as hermetic storage bags exhibited at the event
The event which took place from 27 to 29 January, brought together various actors in the food value chain, including foreign producers, national distributors and marketing companies, as well as government representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture-a key sponsor and co-host of the event.
Smallholder farmers in Sudan are losing up to a third of the food they produce because of inadequate storage systems. Post-harvest losses reduce farmers ‘ incomes, intensify food insecurity and have negative environmental impacts. Land, water, agricultural inputs, and electricity are all used to produce unconsumed food.
“The impact of harvest losses to Sudan’s annual production adds to food insecurity across many states that are reliant on agriculture as the primary source of income,” says WFP Representative and Country Director Hameed Nuru. “Hermetic storage bags are a simple solution and WFP is promoting them among smallholder farmers while working at the same time on increasing their awareness on post-harvest losses.”
WFP Sudan reached over 500,000 farmers in the states of Kassala, Gedarif and White Nile in 2019, with a multi-channel Hermetic Storage Communication Campaign. The promotions focused on encouraging farmers to buy hermetic bags at US$ 2.50 each-about US$ 1 more than the standard jute bag. Return on investment for every 90 kg bag is US$ 26 over three years. And towards the end of 2020
“The next step is for the Sudanese private sector to see the business opportunities, invest in simple technologies that will help in reducing post-harvest loss, and be willing to distribute these products along their existing supply chain to reach farmers,” Nuru added.
WFP Sudan is collaborating with the private sector, banks and microfinance institutions to establish a comprehensive retail network, with the aim of making viable and affordable hermetic storage bags accessible to every smallholder farmer in Sudan. The first selling points in the private sector opened in the states of Gedarif and White Nile in late 2019.
In addition, WFP Sudan is working with the Agriculture Research Corporation to classify hermetic storage bags as agricultural products which will make them eligible for tax exemption. Tax exemption for hermetic bags is expected to further encourage investment by the private sector in this new technology.
Addressing the conference, the Minister of Agriculture Eisa Osman Sharif stressed the importance of the agricultural sector to the national economy: “The agriculture sector is driving and leading force for development and we are working with WFP on a five-year plan to reduce post-harvest losses and support smallholder farmers.”
Post-harvest food loss is a leading cause of food insecurity for millions of families across the world. Achieving zero hunger by 2030 will require that no more food is lost or wasted. Properly used hermetic household storage units have the potential to increase food availability at the household level, and enable farmers to control the timing of crop sales, improving household income.
Data Source: World Food Programme (WFP)