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Cassava and yams are important food security crops in much of sub-Saharan Africa and also in Asia because their presence in the cropping system increases the resilience of farmers in the face of climate change, drought and fluctuations in the price of durable commodities. Post-harvest losses of cassava and yams are significant and come in three forms; physical losses, economic losses and from the biowastes. This project aims to reduce these three types of post-harvest losses in order to enhance the role that these crops play in food and income security for small-holder households. Cassava and yam are amongst the most improtant root crops, but differ in terms of their sale as fresh produce, the improtance of storage and the scale and importance of processing. This project will use these differences to develop a comprehensive aproach to reducing post-harvest losses with lessions that could be applied to other perishable commodities, delivering ouputs that will benefit millions of producing and consuming households across the developing world. A key approach to this project is to address both technical and socio-economic aspects of losses and waste management. In terms of the comprehensiveness of the approach, technologies and slystems will be developed, validated, demonstrated and more widely disseminated that focus benefits on small-holder households whilst offering increased income earning opportunities through the development of small to medium scale enterprises and provide an example of a linkage to a large scale user of cassava.

OBJECTIVES: To improve the postharvest management of cassava and yams leading to reduced physical losses, reduced economic losses through value-added processing and valorization of waste products.

METHODOLOGY: Laboratory Research, Field trials, Industrial trials

ACTIVITY/PROGRESS MADE SINCE PREVIOUS REPORT:

  1. Identification of key yam species/varieties and levels of loss on farm within target region
  2. Definition of post-harvest characteristics of key yam species/varieties
  3. Identification of optimal curing strategies
  4. Development of methods for growing mushrooms from the waste of cassava peels
  5. Maintenance of strains and Substrate formulation experiments
  6. Vegetative growth of eight strains of mushroom cultures on prepared media
  7. Substrate formulation experiments
  8. Report on identification of Critical Control Points in HACCP systems
  9. Methodologies to monitor safety and quality attributes of the products at Critical Control Points
  10. 2nd Edition of GRATITUDE newsletter was printed and 2000 copies were distributed to stakeholders and target groups like MOFA, Crop Research, NRI UK, the Agric Departments of the 3 major universities and all the Research Institutes etc.
  11.  GRATITUDE team participated in the 12th symposium of the ISTRC held in Ghana where 1000 copies of the 2nd Edition of GRATITUDE newsletter was distributed to participants and some posters were displayed for readership at the exhibition point.
  12.  3rd Edition of GRATITUDE newsletter has been designed and gone for proof reading prior to printing, and 2000 copies to be printed for distribution to stakeholders and the target groups by 28/03/14.
  13. Two Press releases on Spawn Production (Spawn multiplication Technology) and mushroom cultivation.

WAY FORWARD:

  1.  Identification of appropriate sprout control strategies
  2. Identification of appropriate storage structures
  3.  Dissemination of best strategies of post-harvest handling of yam tubers to reduce losses
  4.  Report on development of methods for growing mushrooms from the waste of Yam peels
  5.  Report on development of methods for scaling up mushroom production as commercial enterprises
  6. Follow up surveillance of the quality management systems (safety, quality and economic factors)
  7. Dissemination of findings at project workshops for traditional food products

Focus Countries