WFP encourages private sector to scale up fight against post-harvest losses
KHARTOUM – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Sudan is hosting today its first international conference on Post-Harvest Losses (PHL), in a broader bid to significantly scale up the fight against crop waste, including by encouraging local production of hermetic bags - the main crop storage product being showcased at the event.
Hermetic bags are proven to reduce losses for farmers after storage from 35-40 percent to almost zero — an enormous gain for Sudan, where agriculture employs roughly 65 percent of the population. The conference aims to be a springboard for engaging with private industries.
The two-day event brings together a range of organizations, including international manufacturers, national distributors and marketing companies along with attendees across Government, including the Ministry of Finance, the Strategic Reserve Cooperation, Agricultural Bank of Sudan and the Ministry of Agriculture – a key supporter of the event.
Currently reaching 45,000 smallholder farmers in the Eastern and Darfur States, WFP’s PHL programme is expected to reach four million farmers across every state over the next five years, thanks to increased donor interest in supporting the agency’s resilience-based development.
Providing more efficient storage techniques can significantly shore up farming livelihoods that are threatened by climate change and fluctuating weather patterns. The PHL initiative also aims to encourage smallholder farmers to store their harvest safely to sell their surplus harvest at a higher price, stimulating the local economy.
WFP is currently working with international donors to encourage longer-term investment in PHL projects, which is not only key to the initiative’s future success, but more broadly helps to strengthen Sudan’s agricultural sector.
“Sudan has the genuine potential to be a leading agricultural supplier in the region, given its agricultural output and central location to neighbouring African countries,” said WFP Country Director in Sudan Matthew Hollingworth.
WFP’s PHL programme currently reaches more than 90,000 smallholder farmers in 16 countries across Africa.
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