Agriculture plays an important role in Zimbabwe where 70 percent of the population is dependent on farming for their livelihood, yet post-harvest losses remain a major challenge to many smallholder farmers countrywide. About 30 percent of the harvested grain is lost due to lack of appropriate storage facilities, a situation forcing farmers to sell most of their grain soon after harvesting at very low prices, leaving them poor and vulnerable.
Responding to postharvest challenges faced by farmers like James, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the Government, through its agricultural extension arms – Departments of Agricultural Mechanization and AGRITEX, rolled out a project aimed at reducing post harvest grain loses. The project was able to assess 3 types of improved grain storage that suit different rural situations in the country. These were, metal silos, the improved brick granary and hermetic grain storage bags. The project also trained local artisans to manufacture and construct the storage facilities.
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