Farmers responded positively to the recently concluded World Food Programme-led P4P postharvest workshops in Malawi according to an official field report by Alex Chigovera, Technical Support Engineer of GrainPro. The report was collected from the post-training surveys that the participants completed.
More than 70 percent of the 114 participants indicated that they gained important knowledge that would be very useful in reducing food deterioration during storage. Facilitation quality was evaluated by participants with more than 75 percent of them giving it excellent ratings across the three locations. The participants are expected to share their training at their respective communities.
The workshops were organized in partnership with GrainPro and its partner in Malawi, Chemicals and Marketing. The 114 participants, 33 of which were women farmers, represented 54 farming groups from the regions of Blantyre, Lilongwe, and Mzuzu. In Malawi, women smallholder farmers play an important in food production.
The farmers were taught postharvest management principles and practices, knowledge of seed preservation using hermetic storage, and recommended methods for safe long-term grain preservation without using harmful chemicals. To better demonstrate the principles of hermetic storage, the farmers had hands-on training using the SuperGrainbag – a lightweight hermetic liner bag for dry agricultural commodities such as food grains.
Due to its significance to the safe preservation of locally produced dry agricultural commodities, future workshops to include more women farmers are being proposed. There is also a need for refresher workshops to facilitate the continuous sharing of new technologies to farmers. This ensures that smallholder farmers are kept abreast with best practices in food preservation and pest control.