On December 18th, Helvetas and United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) conclude a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the implementation of Zero Pos-Harvest Loss project activities, implemented by WFP.
The Memorandum, valid until December 2019, establishes a framework in which WFP and Helvetas will ensure the training of trainers to reduce post-harvest losses. At least 2,000 small farmers in Tete province will be trained in management and post-harvest handling of cereals and legumes, including the use of hermetic storage.
"Post-harvest losses are one of the main faces of food insecurity in the country: more than 30% of production is lost in the weeks following harvest due to traditional domestic storage and inadequate management of the crop," said Karin Manente, Country Director and WFP Representative. "Farmers are forced to sell their produce at low prices soon after harvest, only to buy food at much higher prices later. This puts families in the cycle of poverty and hunger. Zero post-harvesting is a steady step for Zero Hunger, which we can only achieve with the input of all key players. Hence, our collaboration with Helvetas. "
The agreement provides for the two parties to cooperate to promote improved post-harvest management, to identify and implement market-based response strategies and to promote policy dialogue and advocacy through appropriate tools to support the post-harvest losses agenda in Mozambique.
"Since 2013, Helvetas, through its Post-Harvest Management project, has been promoting post-harvest good practices to improve food security and income for farmers, addressing issues that limit technological dissemination and adoption of good practices, knowledge sharing/capacity building, rural extension services and post-harvest policies. It is in this context that Helvetas establishes this Memorandum with the WFP", said Jürg Merz, Country Director of Mozambique Helvetas Programme.
The Zero Post-Harvest Loss Project is a pilot initiative of the WFP in Mozambique, testing simple and affordable solutions that drastically reduce the post-harvest losses of 2,000 small producers of maize, beans and fresh vegetables for school feeding.