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MODERN POST-HARVEST HANDLING METHOD REDUCING LOSSES

An Agricultural Extension Development Officer in Bolero Extension Planning Area (EPA) in Rumphi, Thokozani Mpomba says the Zero Cooling Chamber has helped to reduce losses of perishable crops by around 36 percent in the area.

The Zero Cooling Chambers are a  type of evaporative cooler for fresh fruits and vegetables which  extend the marketability of the produce

Norwegian Church Aid and Dan Church Aid Malawi with support from the Royal Norwegian Embassy are implementing a project called Sustainable Food Systems for Rural Agriculture Transformation and Resilience (Transform) in which farmers are being trained on improved post-harvest handling methods among others.

One of the Zero Cooling Chambers

According to an Agricultural Extension officer in Bolero EPA, Thokozani Mpomba, the area has been experiencing post-harvest losses due to a lack of markets but after farmers were trained on improved post-harvest handling methods, the losses have been reduced.

Albert Katumbi is one of the farmers belonging to Kadonthera farmers club and he said the Zero Cooling Chamber has helped them to boost their tomato business.

Apart from being trained on improved post-handling methods, the  Transform Project also aims at improving food and nutrition security, resilience to climate change and income among farmers in selected EPA’s of Rumphi, Mzimba, Kasungu, Dowa and Mchinji.

The project is targeting 150 thousand agriculture-dependent rural households within the selected areas.

Reported by Olive Phiri.

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