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Government commits to cut post-harvest loses

LOWE—We need to consult

Agriculture Minister Lobin Lowe has said it would be painful for Malawi to lose about 20 percent of its harvest to weevils after injecting K140.2 billion in the Affordable Input Programme (AIP).

Lowe was speaking in Lilongwe when he launched a campaign to promote the use of hermetic technology for grain storage.

He said experts have predicted that Malawi would produce about 4.4 million metric tonnes of maize this year.

Lowe said Malawi needed to ensure that every grain which finds its way into the storage is well preserved up to the time of utilisation.

“Experts have estimated that 10 to 20 percent of grain in storage is lost to pests, even though farmers use chemicals to treat their produce before storing the grain. This can be expensive and time consuming especially in the case of large volumes as the grain needs to be treated about every six months to minimize heavy losses,” Lowe said.

He urged farmers, grain aggregators and grain warehouse operators to adopt the use of hermetic technology for preservation of stored grain, which the Ministry of Agriculture has endorsed.

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