The Ethiopian government has launched a national management strategy to reduce post-harvest losses of agricultural produce to 5% by 2020.
The 5-year strategy by the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources is meant to reduce post-harvest losses from between 15% and 20%. The Director General for Agricultural Extension in the Ministry, Wondale Habtamu, said the strategy will reduce losses through the adoption of systematic and structured mechanisms.
The strategy should limit food losses throughout the agricultural value chain through the adoption of appropriate technologies, storage and management systems. The improvement of market access and efficiency, access to agricultural financing and the promotion of value addition are also key focus areas.
“If we produce 300 million quintals worth of crops, and there is a 20 % post-harvest loss, the country will loss over 60 million quintals worth of yields, which will cost us billions in lost earnings,” Habtamu said.
The strategy also encourages the creation of effective management systems through calls for the participation of both public and private sector partnerships.