Vegetable farmers ask for cold room facility to stave off post-harvest losses

By IGIHE
On 29 December 2020 at 08:13

Vegetable farmers in Huye district have asked for support to acquire a cold room to enable them safely store fresh produce for a relatively longer period and reduce post-harvest losses.

Farmers say, they have been furnished with good farming practices that saw them increase produce but currently sold at giveaway prices for lack of storage facilities, lest vegetables get wasted in gardens.

“We harvest big quantities of vegetables especially cabbages that we sell at low prices during harvesting season lest they are wasted in gardens. Getting a cooling facility would help us to store our produce for at least two weeks or more and sell at fair prices,” said Hategekimana Sylvestre, a member of KOAGMPA cooperative growing carrots, amaranth and cabbages in Mpaza marshland located in Mukura sector.

Other farmers told IGIHE that their produce is wasted during harvesting time often followed by vegetables shortage one month later.

Figures from Huye district show that vegetable farmers produce over 8,550 tons per annum on 474 hectares.

The mayor of Huye district, Sebutege Ange has explained that they are engaging with relevant stakeholders to find solution.

“We are aware that the facility helping farmers to reduce post-harvest losses is needed. We will continue to engage with relevant institutions particularly the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources to seek how such infrastructure can be set up in Huye,” he said.

Sebutege revealed that the issue was mostly experienced during the lockdown when big markets for their produce were not operational.

Figures from Huye district show that vegetable farmers produce over 8,550 tons per annum on 474 hectares.

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