Horticulture sector players tipped on how to reduce post-harvest losses


Farmers sort tomatoes. Poor handling practices lead to big losses. / File.

Horticulture farmers have been urged to acquire new skills and embrace technologies that can enable them to ensure proper post-harvest to reduce losses and increase produce quality.

Serge Ndayitabi, the Reducing Post Harvest Losses in Rwanda (RPLR) project coordinator in Rwanda, said it is important that horticulture farmers acquire requisite skills and technologies, especially those that promote post-harvest management and ensure quality.

“We are working with farmers and agri-entrepreneurs to help them adopt a strategic business approach and professionalism in all their activities,” Gasasira said.

The official was speaking during a training workshop organised by RPLR last week, which attracted 40 vegetable and fruit farmers from all the districts of the country.

Gasasira said the training aimed at creating awareness on main causes of post-harvest losses and enabling farmers to better understand the constraints and opportunities in the horticultural value chains.

The workshop, which was held at the Mulindi Centre of Excellence, was also a channel for participants to be tipped on benefits of improved post-harvest practices and new technologies.

Farmers speak out

Sylivestre Sibomana, a tomato farmer in Rukumberi sector, Ngoma District, said he learnt good and easily applicable agricultural and post-harvest management practices that will help to reduce losses going forward.

“I always face a lot of challenges during harvest period due to lack of skills, which leads to big produce losses. I have however, learnt that I can use simple equipment and tools designed by local artisans to overcome such constraints and hence reducing these losses,” Sibomana said.

The Reducing Post Harvest Losses in Rwanda (RPLR) project seeks to increase food security through a better understanding and identification of the most-efficient ways to reduce post-harvest losses.