Agricultural stakeholders call for improved infrastructure

Stakeholders in the agriculture sector have called for improved infrastructure especially in rural areas to minimize post-harvest losses occasioned by poor access roads.

Tegemeo Institute of Agricultural Policy and Development says Kenya losses over 4 million bags of maize annually due to poor post-harvest handling, further threatening the country’s food security.

The country produced average of 40 million bags of maize annually with farmers losing close to 20 percent of their maize produce to post harvest losses.

Experts reckon with better post-harvest handling strategies, the deficit could easily be filled as the country losses between 4 to 8 million bags of maize to post harvest losses.

Other factors that contribute to post harvest losses include spillages during handling, transportation, processing and marketing, rotting, Aflatoxin contamination due to improper handling as well as inappropriate storage technologies and facilities.

Tegemeo Institute of Agricultural Policy and Development proposes that farmers embrace cheap, modern and appropriate post-harvest technologies to increase their produce.

The agriculture experts are calling on both the national and the county governments to improve transport infrastructure and revamp storage facilities to help farmers consolidate their produce and increase their incomes.

The government has also been urged to come up with policies that will stabilize maize prices in addition to increasing interventions in mitigating the effects of climate change to cushion farmers against further losses.

  

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