NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya must scale up investments in modern storage
facilities, efficient transport systems and farmers’ education
in order to reduce post-harvest loss of maize estimated at 12 to
20 percent of national production, researchers said in a report
released in Nairobi on Monday.
agriculture think-tank Tegemeo Institute noted that Kenya has
one of the highest levels of post-harvest losses of maize in the
region that has undermined the country’s efforts to feed a
are a major contributor to food inadequacy and must therefore be
effectively addressed as a strategy to achieve the much desired
state of food security,” said the researchers.
Kenya loses an
average of 6 million out of 40 million 90 kilograms of maize
produced in the country annually due to lack of modern storage
facilities as well climatic shocks.
“The losses mainly
include spillages during handling, transportation, processing
and marketing; rotting and aflatoxin contamination,” read the
It decried huge
post-harvest losses of maize in Kenya due to attacks by pests,
rodents and mechanical damage during farm level elementary
processing alongside off-farm value addition.
this post-harvest maize loss could be enough to meet one month’s
consumption demand of the key staple in the country.
Climate change has
emerged as a leading cause of huge post-harvest losses of maize
in Kenya. Researchers from Tegemeo Institute noted that Kenya’s
breadbaskets have grappled with a huge burden of post-harvest
maize loss due to extreme weather events.
climatic patterns have altered the maize harvesting period
conditions in most parts of Kenya’s grain basket with harvesting
coinciding with rains or humid conditions in
October-November-December,” said the researchers.
These conditions not
only hinder proper grain drying but also provide conducive
conditions for grain pests and disease build-up,” they added.
Kenya can apply
globally recognized best practices that include appropriate
technologies, improved crop husbandry and farmer education to
cut down on post-harvest loss of maize.
that better policies coupled with deployment of modern storage
facilities like metal or plastic silos; proper drying and grain
treatment will drastically reduce post-harvest loss of maize in