PHL in the News  
October 24, 2012  

The following items have appeared recently in newspapers, blogs, on websites and other media regarding PHL and might be of interest to affiliates of the ADM Institute for the Prevention of Postharvest Loss.

East Asia

  • A Thai government intervention scheme for securing adequate storage for paddy (rice) farmers is currently facing challenges. Officials are requesting use of old airport warehouses to store the rice as production continues to increase. Controversy exists over whether the government can support the scheme by exporting the rice. Many millers are turning farmers away due to lack of storage, and experts are worried about the quality of airport warehouses.

  • A Filipino senator urged the country's Department of Agriculture to increase investments in agricultural research and development to improve efficiency of the ag sector. He cited postharvest loss as a major issue and a significant reason to invest in modernization of facilities, logistics, and infrastructure. 

 Africa

  • On October 17 and 18, a high-level forum took place between the African Union Commission (AUC) and the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). Proceedings of the forum will add to their current project, "AUC/FAO Support Capacity-Building to Reduce Post Harvest Losses," which supports the mission of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Programme (CAADP). The forum serves to sensitize senior policymakers to current and potential strategies of reducing postharvest losses in Sub-Saharan Africa. 

  • Aftermaths of severe flooding in Nigeria call on policymakers to think strategically about their plan for national food security. Flood damages continue to put strain on the supply of quality crops and land, which has both immediate and future implications. Factors other than production, including infrastructure, storage, and processing, must be considered as avoiding losses becomes even more urgent. 

  • The National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB), an agricultural commodity management and trading organization in East and Central Africa, is currently advising and training Kenyan maize farmers on how to mitigate issues that cause postharvest loss. In addition to strategies for proper handling and fumigation, NCPB is urging farmers to utilize the warehouse receipting system. Many farmers reject this plan, however, because withholding their crop is not realistic when maize production is their main source of income. 

South Asia

  • India continues to seek out ways to free up grain storage space as large procurements overwhelm current facilities. One solution in pursuit is to export to Iran. Preliminary negotiation stages are in order and India hopes to secure a long-term export agreement of 1 million tonnes this year.

  • In coming months, the Food Corporation of India (FCI) will attempt its first ever cross-border river grain transport. India gained permission from Bangladesh to use the Ashuganj river port in transporting grain first by barge and then by truck from Kolkata to the northeast state of Tripura. Over the next 2-3 years, the FCI will be pushing for new changes that will make processes of procurement, storage, and distribution more efficient, including construction of silos and mechanization of operations. 

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World Food Day

World Food Day annually promotes awareness of food and agricultural issues and celebrates the work of those concerned with food security.

This year, international figures recognized reducing postharvest losses as a necessary component of policymaking and action.

Remarks came from leaders including Pakistani President Zardari and Kenyan Agricultural Minister Dr. Sall Kosgey. Chinese grain officials organized a nation-wide "24-hours of hunger" movement to raise awareness of the importance of grain conservation in China.

 
  ADM Institute for the Prevention of Postharvest Loss
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    807 S. Wright Street, Champaign, IL 61820
t: 217-333-5115 e:postharvestinstitute@illinois.edu