WFP is scaling up a Zero Post Harvest Losses Programme that sells low cost, locally produced silos and provides training to smallholder farmers in developing countries.

There is enough food to feed the world’s 7 billion people, yet some 795 million people around the world are trapped in a life of poverty and hunger. In some developing countries, up to 40 percent of food production is lost before it even leaves the farm gate. In the weeks after harvest, Sub-Saharan Africa alone loses 20 million metric tons of food each year, valued at over $4 billion, according to a 2011 study by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). 

Insects. Rodents. Moisture. Mould. These are the age-old enemies in the world’s food supply chain – the farmer’s nemeses. To combat them, WFP has turned to a practical, yet innovative solution. By addressing inadequate post-harvest management and storage practices, WFP is transforming the lives of low-income farmers struggling to meet their families’ basic food needs through an innovative financing model. 

By subsiding airtight storage equipment - in the form of plastic and metal containers - and providing training in how to use it, small-scale farmers throughout Sub-Saharan Africa no longer have to struggle to preserve their hard-earned harvests from spoilage and pests. With their crops stored safely in improved storage facilities, they no longer rush to sell immediately after harvest at low prices, only to buy food at much higher prices or seek assistance later in the year.

East Africa Scale-up

Seven countries are already participating in the initiative, including Uganda, Burkina Faso, Tanzania, Zambia, Burundi, Niger, and Rwanda, and seven others are in preparation. In Uganda, more than 113,000 farmers have purchased and are using the airtight storage, which allows them to have higher quality grains and to hold on to the produce until prices rise during the lean season. The use of the silos has led to a threefold increase in their income and has cut their post-harvest losses by 98 percent. With these gains, farmers recover the cost of buying the devices within one harvest. To continue improving the food security of local communities and the nutrition of many families, WFP plans to scale this project to 2.5 million households in Uganda.

Picture: 500 Litre Capacity Plastic Silos
Picture: A farmer inspects his crop

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