PHL In the News
January 22, 2013

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.

Global

Africa

  • A recent article discusses the power of innovation for agricultural development in Africa. Mobile technology is specifically highlighted as an important tool for communicating information about markets, harvests, pests and diseases, etc. Several individual success stories are described as reasons to increase funding for R&D in agricultural innovation.
  • The Zambia Cooperative Federation announced development plans to construct maize milling facilities in selected provinces in the country. The facilities will bring processing capacity to communities which need to add value to their crops and produce staple household foods self-sufficiently. The Federation seeks government and stakeholder backing for their plans.
  • An ad-hoc presidential committee says Egyptian wheat silos are unfit for use because they allow dust and grit to mix with high-quality Egyptian wheat. The government says eliminating the silos is not possible due to the high demand for storage space. Future policy suggestions include subsidization along the value chain as opposed to just at production levels.

Asia

  • The Indian government plans to lower the price of wheat it is selling under the open market sales scheme (OMSS) due to lack of buyer demand. Of the 6.5 million tonnes allocated for the OMSS, the government has only sold 3 million tonnes. Pressure to open up storage space is high as growers are set for another bumper crop. Millers call for a more consistent procurement system.

North America

  • Wheat-growers in the Great Plains of the United States are set to collect record insurance payments for crops lost during the 2012 drought. The Department of Agriculture declared several counties natural disaster zones and has paid nearly $11 billion in indemnities to farmers whose wheat crops suffered last year. 

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Issue Spotlight 

Farmer Access to Knowledge

Many solutions for controlling postharvest losses are already available but often only to the researchers, government officials, private businesses, and organizations that develop or study them. Extension officers are heavily relied upon to provide this necessary information to farmers, but in many countries a few officers are responsible for hundreds to thousands of farmers at any given time. Many farmers could benefit from investment in information technology.

Videos from Scientific Animations Without Borders (SAWBO) are one example of the opportunities for educational technology. Barry Pittendrigh, an ADM Institute researcher, has created four videos on postharvest loss prevention that can be viewed online and via mobile phone, and he plans to create two more.

For more information and resources, visit our website

 
  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