|Integrated Stored Product Protection for Farmholders (GTZ)|
From the economic point of view and in terms of protection of the natural resources, it is much more reasonable to protect harvested produce against loss than to invest in further increases of the agricultural production. According to investigations made by GTZ 5 to 30 % of the African maize and cassava harvest is destroyed after six to eight months of storage by stored product pests. The losses depend on the storage system and the presence of the Larger Grain Borer (LGB), which is particularly devastating. According to FAO statistics the overall production of maize in Africa is 36 million t per year. Taking into account that three quarters of the total harvest are stored at farm level, the minimum losses amount to 1.35 million t every year. Much of these losses can be prevented using integrated post-harvest protection measures.
Integrated post-harvest protection on the farm level means the selection of appropriate measures according to the specific situation on every single farm. Integrated post-harvest loss prevention combines profitability with the protection of the natural resources. There are various possibilities to reduce or completely avoid the use of chemical stored product protectants. It is the task of the farmers and the extensionists to analyse the needs carefully before choosing the measures that suit them best. Criteria like simplicity, availability, cost, labour expense must always be taken into account. In this context, the extension brochure is intended to contribute to post-harvest loss reduction and to the improvement of food security.
However, there is a high demand for ready-made Integrated post-harvest packages which can be transmitted to the farmers in a Top-down approach. Such approaches will invariably fail, because they do not take into account the socio-cultural and economic conditions which vary from case to case. The present leaflet cannot cover all these conditions. Instead, it gives an overview of commonly practiced methods and measures to control the LOB and other stored product pests including the prevention of mould development. Methods which do not include the use of synthetic insecticides are particularly recommended in this leaflet.
Improved post-harvest protection allows the farmers to profit from the annual fluctuations of the market prizes by selling quality products at the time when the prizes are high. By this the farmers can considerably increase their incomes, because the price fluctuations are often much more important than the monetary value of post-harvest losses.
The contents of the leaflet are presented in a matrix which provides a quick access to the relevant information. The single elements included must be combined by the users of the leaflet in order to form integrated stored product protection schemes that meet the above mentioned requirements.
The leaflet is primarily directed to extension workers and subject matter specialists who are the main transmitters of agricultural innovations. The methods and measures listed below may concern different target groups. Therefore, the target groups are indicated in the matrix using the following abbreviations:
DM Decision makers
SM Store managers
AP Applicators of insecticides to protect stored products (commercial and private)
WO Women in rural households
The numbers indicated in the column "lnfo" refer to the publications listed under "Further information at the end of this leaflet.