IAR4D Approach for Strengthening Partnerships Among Stakeholders to Encourage Collective Actions towards Post-Harvest Issues1 By Alphonse Emechebe (Coordinator, KKM PLS of SSA CP, IAR/IITA Kano Station, Kano, Nigeria) Outline: Some Post-Harvest Issues Strategic Decisions of Farmers Structure and Process Principles of IAR4D Few Experiences to Address Post-harvest Issues using the IAR4D Approach in KKM PLS 1 PowerPoint Presentation as Panelist to panel discussion on the theme of CORAF/WECARD Science Week, Cotonou, Benin Republic, May 24-29, 2010.
1. SOME OF THE ISSUES TO BE ADDRESSED IN POST-HARVEST AGRICULTURAL SECTOR IN WCA • Food Quality and Food Safety at All Levels (Household, Community, National and International) • Human Population Factor • Drudgery Associated with Traditional Food Processing by Rural Women • Limited or Lack of Access to Profitable Markets, Bulk Storage Facilities and Processors for Primary Agricultural Produce.
1.1. Food Quality and Food Safety • Should be addressed at all levels (household, community, national and international) within the food systems. • Factors to be considered include: • Poor physical quality of food item • Microbial contaminations/infestations • Mycotoxins • Chemical contaminations • Accelerated rotting/decay, especially of fruits and vegetables. • Damage/contamination by other biological agents (e.g. rodents & insects)
1.2. Human Population Factor • In different countries of WCA, human population doubles every 20-25 years. • The rapid increase in population is associated with ever-increasing rate of rural-urban migration mostly of youths fleeing from: - Rural poverty, and - Poor rural infrastructure and services. • The urban populations eat more processed foods instead of unprocessed traditional staples usually consumed in rural communities. • Need to store foods to meet demands by urban population
1.3. Drudgery Associated with Traditional Food Processing by Rural Women • Traditional food processing by rural women is labourious and time-consuming (e.g. groundnut oil extraction) • Prototypes developed for cottage industry food processing yet to be mass-produced by private sector • Uptake of improved food processing technologies by rural women has been limited due to either non-availability of machinery or lack of funds.
1.4. Limited or Lack of Access to Profitable Markets, Bulk Storage Structures and Processors for Primary Agricultural Produce These are serious constraints because: • Proximity to markets offering guaranteed fair prices for primary agricultural produce minimizes post-harvest losses. • Well-managed bulk storage facilities: - minimize individual risks involved in grain storage - ensure grains are sold at times of peak demand and fair prices - serve as reliable sources of large quantities of grains for merchants and processors
2. Strategic Decisions that Farmers Make The farmer makes one or more strategic decisions in relation to post-harvest issues, depending on his/her socio-economic circumstances: • Sells disposable produce soon after harvest. • Stores disposable produce for varying periods after harvest and then sells later at better prices • Processes disposable produce and sells value-added product
3. IAR4D CONCEPT 3.1. Integrated agricultural research for development (IAR4D) aims to transform linear process of agricultural technology transfer (research-extension-farmer) by embedding research within an innovation system comprising all relevant actors in agricultural value chain. It is characterized by a structure and several process principles
3.2. IAR4D Structure is the Innovation Platform (IP) defined as: • An informal coalition, collaboration, partnership and alliance of public and private scientists, extension workers, farmers’ representatives, farmers’ associations, private firms, NGOs and government policymakers who cooperate, communicate and interact (often across sectoral and ministerial lines) motivated by common belief that increasing agricultural productivity can help improve welfare of all members of society
3.3. Key Process Principles of IAR4D • Existence of an IP for diagnosing problems, exploring opportunities and investigating and validating solutions. • Non-linear (but network) collective, collaborative interaction among IP actors. This enhances: • Direct and continuous interaction, communication and knowledge sharing among IP actors. • Quick and continuous feedback from end users at all stages of R4D • Timely integration of new knowledge into the innovation process using experiential learning, M&E, and continuous feedback • Research that addresses key constraints and opportunities agreed by IP actors in the context of entire value chain (from input supply through production to consumption) and sustainable livelihood systems
A research process that is multidisciplinary and participatory • Institutional and human capacity building for IAR4D actors to effectively participate in IP activities. • The capacity building needs are identified by IP actors • Formal and informal training is provided by the appropriate partners 4. Two Experiences of KKM PLS to Address Post-Harvest Issues Using IAR4D Approach • The Kano-Katsina-Maradi (KKM) Pilot Learning Site (PLS) is one of 3 PLSs of the Sub-Saharan Africa Challenge Programme (SSA CP) facilitated by FARA • KKM PLS has 3 Task Forces (TFs) that implement 3 sub-projects (Sahel, the Sudan Savanna and the Northern Guinea Savanna)
4.1. The Sudan Savanna (SS) TF is addressing 2 post-harvest constraints/issues in its Cereal-Legume IPs: • Heavy losses caused by cowpea bruchid on improperly stored cowpea and human health hazards associated with chemical storage of cowpea • High labour demand and drudgery associated with manual shelling of groundnut, dehusking maize and oil extraction from groundnut 4.2. Strengthening Stakeholders on Non-Chemical Storage of Cowpea Grains. • Actors in Cereal-Legume IPs of the SS TF, having identified constraint (i) above, agreed that problem would be minimized by farmer-adoption of the non-chemical storage of cowpea. • Non-chemical cowpea storage consists of hermetic storage of cowpea grains in a triple layer bag
Triple layer bag comprises two polyethylene plastic bags (80 microns thick) and a third sack (outer bag) made of woven polypropylene. • The inner bag is carefully filled with grain in such a way that there are no air pockets and that there is enough material for tying after packing the grains tightly. The lip of inner bag is twisted and tied firmly with heavy string at the base of the twist and over the folded twist. The middle bag is pulled over the inner one to completely surround it and the lip twisted shut and handled as the first bag. The same procedure is followed for the outer, woven bag. • The SS TF trained extension agents and lead farmers at various locations in Kano and Katsina States using training manual and bags supplied by PICS (Purdue Improved Cowpea Storage) Project - Bags produced by local manufacturer in Kano
Training emphasized importance of storing only dry, clean grains under rodent-proof stores. - Bags must be obtained from accredited suppliers • Technology has spread like wild fire to the extent that demand for bags has completely exceeded supply. 4.3. Strengthening Stakeholders on Fabrication, Use and Maintenance of Motorized Groundnut Sheller, Maize Dehusker and Groundnut Oil processing Equipment • The actors in Cereal-Legume IPs of the SS TF noted that some post-harvest operations implemented by resource-poor farmers and village-level processors are tedious and labour-intensive. Among these are: - shelling of groundnuts - dehusking maize - extracting oil from groundnut grains.
IP actors also learnt that engineers of IAR/ABU, Zaria had developed prototype equipment that would remove the above drudgery and save labour • Over the years, efforts to find manufacturers to mass-produce the equipment had been in vain • After careful consideration of the above situation, IP actors resolved that IAR engineers should train local artisans (blacksmiths and welders) to fabricate the maize dehuskers, the groundnut sheller and groundnut oil extraction equipment. Both artisans and relevant lead farmers were trained on the use and maintenance of the three equipment - Training sessions emphasized pre-operational checks - Trainees were advised to adhere strictly to the procedures outlined in the manuals
Having completed the training, farmers, farmer groups and women groups placed orders for various equipment with the artisans • In this way, the IP generated employment and created wealth (for the artisans) and considerably reduced drudgery associated with manual shelling of groundnut, dehusking maize and extracting oil from groundnut grains (for farmers and processors).