Reducing post-harvest food loss for Nigerian farmers
Nigeria is the largest producer of tomatoes in sub-Saharan Africa, yet more than 40 percent of the produce is lost every year post-harvest. Poor infrastructure, lack of market access, seasonal gluts, poor harvesting and transit practices, and competitive pricing of readily available foreign produce all contribute to the tremendous amount of loss, particularly in the northern regions where tomato production is widespread.
As an implementing partner of The Rockefeller Foundation’s YieldWise initiative, PYXERA Global is working alongside Dangote Farms Limited, a member of the Dangote Group – the largest manufacturing conglomerate in Nigeria, to reduce post-harvest loss in the Nigerian tomato value chain. The program supports the establishment of an effective outgrower scheme for Dangote’s recently established processing plant in Kano State, thereby providing smallholder farmers in the region with a year-round ready-buyer to absorb much of the loss that occurs during peak season. The program also targets post-harvest loss by facilitating linkages to alternative markets, improving access to finance and innovative technologies to improve storage and handling, and conducting on-farm trainings to improve crop rotation and other production practices.
The YieldWise Approach
By working with smallholder farmers to identify and grow diverse tomato varieties that are in demand by both consumers and processors, encourage crop staggering and improve overall production quality, we aim to reduce post-harvest loss by connecting more produce to market year-around.
Handling & Storage
We ensure farmers have access to the technologies, financing, and training necessary to reduce loss that occurs during harvest, packaging, and distribution. Poor infrastructure is one of the biggest contributors to loss in transit throughout Nigeria, so effective handling and packaging is essential for increased market access.
We facilitate market linkages between smallholder farmers and medium- to large-scale buyers to reduce overall post-harvest loss, diversify the tomato value chain and discourage import substitution.
Private Sector Investment
We engage with companies to source tomatoes from smallholder farmers via outgrower scheme development, and on-farm training. Through this market-driven approach, we encourage private sector participation in local sourcing and post-harvest loss interventions.
“The amount of food lost or wasted before it ever reaches a table is simply unacceptable, with devastating impacts on people, profit, and planet. Yet, it’s a challenge that can be prevented with a blend of existing solutions, from technologies that help farmers keep more of what they grow to models for private sector engagement that ensure those crops will be bought, rather than left to rot."
JUDITH RODIN, President of The Rockefeller Foundation
The World Can Cut Food Waste and Loss by Half. So Why Haven't We?
By Mamadou Biteye
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