The local agriculture industry says the country is still grappling with major post-harvest agriculture management challenges which are robbing the industry of its economic benefits.
Experts say up to 20 percent of the country’s agriculture benefits are being lost through archaic agriculture handling and processing systems.
Speaking in Lilongwe during a workshop on managing risk for crop production and post-harvest period, controller for agriculture extensional and technical services in the Ministry of Agriculture, Wilfred Lipita, said proper management of the period could ensure the country’s farmers and agro-based economies reap more.
Lipita said the challenges facing post-harvest management have further been exasperated by climate change induced challenges and were negatively impacting on the sector’s efforts to concentrate on value adding.
“We need technologies which can mitigate the impact of climate change on the agriculture post-harvest period. We need initiatives such as conservation agriculture which we are promoting across the country, box rigging and other technologies which can reduce the impact of drought and floods” added Lipita.
He said recent studies indicate that Malawi is losing as much as 12 percent of its agriculture harvest to poor post-harvest management systems as well as losing out on nutrition security.
Tamani-Nkhono Mvula, national coordinator of Cisanet, a grouping of several civil society bodies working in the agriculture sector, said the workshop will seek to draw lessons from recent studies on the subject by eminent researchers and experts.