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Increasing heat contributing to food losses 


  13 Mars      26        Environment (3678), Science (451),

   

Accra, March, 12, GNA - Temperature increase resulting in heat in the country is one of the major contributors to food losses, Ms Catherine Krobo Edusei, Managing Director and Founder of Eden Tree, has said.

Ms Edusei, told the Ghana News Agency at a day’s seminar on food loss organised by the Embassy of Denmark in Accra that a high volume of produce especially fruits, vegetable and tubers were perishing due to excessive heat.

The seminar brought together Ghanaian and Danish stakeholders in the production and post production value chain to discuss solutions to the challenge of food loss.

A study commissioned by the Danish Embassy on food loss in the agriculture value chain and market opportunities in Ghana showed a great potential to boost employment, generate foreign earnings and ensure food sufficiency.

It is said that about 50 percent of produce in some selected value chains is lost through postharvest food losses and waste before the produce reaches the consumer.

Ms Edusei said although there were other causes, the challenge of temperature could be addressed by setting up cold chain facilities at farm gates.

“Although, the cost for running these facilities is too high, farmers should be offered incentives to keep their produce at cold chains to reduce losses. We need good partnerships and a special policy and implementation strategy and this can transform the sector,” she said.

Mrs Adusei said as temperatures continued to surge, government ought to introduce an agriculture insurance scheme to help small holder farmers bounce back in the event of a disaster.

Madam Francisca Martey, Deputy Director in charge of Research and Applied Meteorology,  Ghana Meteorological Agency, told GNA that the increase in temperature was real, describing it as a problem affecting agriculture production greatly.

She said that GMet had observed that the day and night temperature had seen a surge and called for a comprehensive approach to deal with the situation.

Mr Tom Nørring, Ambassador of Denmark to Ghana, said food loss was core of the Sustainable Development Goal one, two and three, hence the need to take concrete steps towards meeting the goals.

He stated that postharvest losses were partly due to the lack of investments in cold chains, low efficiency in livestock production, and underscored the need for coordination and better regulation.

Mr Nørring said food loss had detrimental costs on value chain actors, including farmers, transporters and especially consumers.

Danish companies, he stated, were well positioned and ready to collaborate with Ghanaian agro-producers to find sustainable solutions to food loss.

Albert Oppong-Ansah

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