Helen J. Altshul


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Institution: University of Greenwich / Natural Resources International Ltd., UK

E-mail: H.J.Altshul@greenwich.ac.uk


Research Fellow responsible for the development of a research agenda and methodologies for the evaluation/impact assessment of natural resources research projects and programmes managed by NRIL. Other areas of expertise include farmer participatory methodolgies, farming systems research, soil and water conservation and aerial photograph interpretation. Overseas field experience with the ODA (now DFID) in Kenya, with NGOs in Burkina Faso, Cambodia and Israel and short-term assignments in Ghana, India, South Africa and Swaziland.

Title: "The impacts of post-harvest crop research on poverty alleviation: Two case studies from Northern Ghana"

Theme: 2D


This paper is based on an interim evaluation exercise carried out in 1998 for research projects funded by the Department for International Development’s Crop Post-Harvest Research Programme. Field visits were made to applied research projects on cowpeas and cassava in the Northern Region of Ghana and informal discussions were held with a range of stakeholders.

The cowpea project has developed safer, more effective methods of fumigating stored grain than those previously practiced by farmers and traders. The advantages include improved grain quality and reduced risks to human health. A grant has now been obtained to construct a bulk fumigation facility, which will benefit many more individuals. The cassava project has produced high quality dried cassava chips without the insect damage and mould contamination problems experienced using traditional processing methods. The technique reduces women’s workloads by eliminating the need for pounding of the chips before milling. There is also increased potential for market expansion, and the project is now linking farmers with potential consumers.

Both case studies illustrate the substantial impacts on poverty alleviation that crop post-harvest research can achieve, through the provision of appropriate technologies and the development of linkages to facilitate their uptake.

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