Farmers reduce post-harvest losses

Farmers in Laikipia Country have always been affected by low maize prices due to poor market channels and high postharvest loses. To address these challenges Maize farmers with support of the ASDSP founded Laikipia Maize Value Chain Development Network in 2015.

The Network is an umbrella organization consisting of 43 maize value chain groups drawn from Ol-Moran, Igwamiti, Githiga, Salama, Marmanet, Rumuruti and Ngobit Wards. The Network has improved the organization and
co-ordination of the maize value chain in Laikipia County as well as championing the collective interests of the Maize Value Chain actors enhancing a viability of the value chain.

ASDSP in collaboration with the County department of Agriculture trained 951 members of the Network on group dynamics, marketing, entrepreneurship,  soil sampling, maize production and post-harvest management. ASDSP also supported development of a manual on post -harvest handling of maize and linked the Network to Home Grown School Feeding Programme.

The Network with support of the County Government coordinates sourcing for farm inputs ensuring that farmers get certified seeds and subsidized government fertilizer. The Network negotiated for better maize prices at Ksh. 500 more per 90kg bag thus translating to an extra Ksh. 10,000 for a farmer who is producing 20 bags of maize per acre.

Through the Warehousing Receipting System (WRS), four cereal banks (Ndurumo, Sipili, Divai, and Ol- Moran) have secured an extra storage capacity of more than 40,000 bags. The adoption of appropriate post-harvest technologies has reduced post-harvest grain losses.

“I used to lose around 2 bags per acre due to post harvest losses but after training, application of post -harvest handling of maize manual and use of hermetic bags for storage I have reduced the post harvest losses by 10 percent,” said Mr. Mbogo, a member of the network.

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