PHL in the News

December 6, 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.

Issues of Loss | Projects | Technology | Reports | Awareness | Opinions | Related Articles | Conferences and Symposiums


Issues of Loss 

  • Briefing: how to stop a deadly fungus affecting billions
    The International Food Policy Research Institute estimates that aflatoxins contaminate one-quarter of the global food supply. 4.5 billion people are exposed to aflatoxins, which have the potential to cause cancer and liver disease. Improved postharvest storage and research can prevent the spread of aflatoxins.

  • Assocham advises Centre to bring down taxes on grains transactions
    Taxes on rice and wheat in Punjab and Haryana are causing bottlenecks in the state procurement process. These two regions have the highest taxes on rice and wheat in India due to their high levels of production of these crops. 
  • Millers threaten to boycott paddy procurement
    Members of the Koraput Millers Association have decided to stop participating in the paddy procurement process of their region. The levy norms imposed by the government make it harder for millers to sell their rice, which has caused protests by this group of millers.

  • Burma rice farmers battle influx of rats
    At least four villages in Southern Burma have experienced rats damaging and eating their rice. Locals believe that the influx in the rat population is the result of a higher than usual amount of bamboo in the area, which has caused the rats to breed more.

Projects

  • African scientists develop research platform to fight aflatoxin
    In East Africa, there is worry that maize has fallen susceptible to aflatoxin accumulation. This risk of aflatoxins has already decreased the exports of groundnuts to Europe by $670 million. Risk maps have been created for certain countries in Africa to analyze and visualize the threat.

  • FCI sets up admin building in Guwahati; Granary inaugurated in Manipur
    The Food Corporation of India established an administration building in Guwahati to support the Food Security Act. This building will extend the reach of the FCI, along with a new high capacity granary in Manipur.

  • Milling facility boosts rice production
    A rice mill facility in General Luna, a province in the Philippines, has eliminated the added cost of transporting produce to far away rice mills. The lack of rice mills within the town made it difficult to mill during harvest season.
  • Agriculture Ministry working to reduce waste of food, now as high as 30%
    The Ministry of Agriculture in Bangkok has recently found that 30% of food is wasted, and is now working on efforts to reduce this waste. The 'Food Waste Food Lost' project has been initiated and aims to reduce the damage of crops during planting and harvesting, as well as training farmers on how to reduce crop loss.
  • New bags to save farmers from storage expenses
    A new postharvest technology that uses airtight bags are being manufactured and distributed in Kenya. These bags will reduce the need for chemicals to prolong the shelf life of stored grain.

Technology

  • Innovation: RapidSMS enhances Africa's data transfer
    RapidSMS, a platform for data collection and group communication via the short messaging system, has gone global since its launch in Malawi four years ago. Its original use was to monitor the food security surveillance system in Malawi, but is now being used all over Africa to record new births and provide healthcare feedback quickly.
  • Theft and waste hit food supply in India
    An estimated 15 million families in the state of New Delhi hold cards for subsidized food that they're not entitled to, which makes it difficult for those in need to get food. The National Informatics Centre is investing in computerized systems to monitor food from when the government buys it until it reaches its targets. This will prevent subsidized food being stolen and sold for profit on the black market.

  • New hand-held grain moisture tester available from John Deere
    John Deere has introduced the GT-30300 Grain Moisture Tester to improve the accuracy of monitoring grain condition during harvest and storage. The hand-held device can test the moisture, weight, and temperature of 20 different grain in seconds at a very high accuracy.

  • Emerald Grain smartphone app makes harvest easier
    Emerald Grain has released a smartphone app that provides growers with instant access to live prices, segregations and operating hours at local grain storage sites. The app also updates information based on local weather and harvest conditions.

  • Smartphone app offers cheap aflatoxin test for farmers
    A new smartphone app offers a cheap way for African farmers to manage harmful fungus that grows on crops. The Lap-on-Mobile-Device platform can detect aflatoxins as accurately as a lab test at a fraction of the cost. By using a smartphone to take a picture of a test strip used on the crop, the LMD analyzes the color of the test strip to provide the correct risk level, eliminating human error.

 Reports


 Awareness

  • Ensuring food security: key resources
    The connections between climate change, hunger and nutrition are becoming more well known. There are key resources and recommendations to overcome these issues, such as agricultural groups in the UN.

  • Under modernize agric Ghana's economy will be transformed
    The National Farmer's Forum was recently held in Accra, Ghana to better connect farmers with political leadership. By strengthening these connections and sharing information, the food and agricultural sector can be modernized.

  • Boost grain preservation before production
    Over 2.8 billion tonnes of grains are grown and stored each year, but it is not always known how much of this becomes unfit for human consumption due to poor reporting in some countries. There needs to be a shift in the goal of producing more food to the goal of preserving current harvests to reduce losses.

Opinions

  • Hungry for change
    The Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Program recently visited New Delhi to meet with policy makers and the Minister of Agriculture. They discussed the National Food Security Act of India, and how India differs from other countries suffering from food insecurity.

  • How to feed 12% of the world?
    Public food systems that utilize programs such as India's Public Distribution System are popular in many developing countries. They allow grain to be sold at fair-price shops, which costs a fraction of the market price. However, water depletion tends to be overlooked in these countries, which makes food security harder to achieve.

  • Food policy and the environmental credit crunch
    The current generation of the world is the first ever to know that world famine can be resolved using modern economics. The globalization of transportation networks, agricultural productivity, and medical knowledge has combined to make famine an accident of human policy, and not of nature.

Related Articles 


 Conferences and Symposiums


 To feature important stories in PHL in the News, please send relevant media, press releases, articles, reports, and other information to postharvestinstitute@illinois.edu.

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Institute Spotlight

New on our Blog:

'For Landscapes, GLF Calls for Same Needs of Postharvest Loss Prevention: An Integrated Understanding' 

 

 Photo credit: landscapes.org 


In November, more than 2,000 participants gathered in Warsaw, Poland at the Global Landscapes Forum to engage in dialogue about the landscapes approach that is gaining momentum among food security and environment experts.

This management strategy involves taking a holistic and integrated look at achieving the trip win: increased yields, boosted incomes, and lowered emissions.


It is also similar to the systems dynamics approach, one driving perspective for postharvest loss prevention of the ADM Institute.

The overlap of these perspectives among key actors indicates there is great potential to develop actionable solutions to loss.

Read more on our blog.

 
  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