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Community of Practice on Food Loss Reduction

Towards the development of post-harvest management policy and strategy in Burkina Faso

Towards the development of post-harvest management policy and strategy: supporting a strategic roadmap for the reduction of post-harvest losses in cereals and pulses in Burkina Faso

On 15 March 2017, key stakeholders met in Ouagadougou to discuss technical, policy and strategic orientations and recommendations on post-harvest loss management within the agricultural policy framework of Burkina Faso. 

The workshop gathered representatives of the Agriculture and Water Resources Ministry, professional organizations, research institutions and universities, and was facilitated by FAO, IFAD and WFP. The opening ceremony was chaired by Mr. Aristide Ongone Obame, FAO Representative in Burkina Faso, and by Mr Tinga Ramdé, Technical adviser and Representative of the Minister of Agriculture, who made the opening statements. “The road map resulting from this session will lay the groundwork for taking into account the issue of post-harvest loss management at all levels”, said Mr. Ongone Obame. Mr Ramdé, who also chaired the working sessions on behalf of the Minister of Agriculture, acknowledged the threat that food losses pose to food security in the country, and confirmed the government’s commitment to food loss and waste reduction in order to improve the governance of food security. 

The workshop took place within the context of the first phase of the RBA joint project “Mainstreaming food loss reduction initiatives for smallholders in food deficit areas”, which is being jointly implemented by FAO, IFAD and WFP, in collaboration with the Agriculture and Water Resources Ministry and with funding from the Swiss Development and Cooperation agency (SDC). The joint project responds to the commitment made in Malabo in 2014 by the Heads of State and Government of the African Union to reduce food losses by 50% by 2025.

As part of Outcome 2, a detailed food loss assessment was undertaken in selected cereals and pulses supply chains (sorghum, maize and cowpeas) in four regions of Burkina Faso (Boucle du Mouhoun, Est, Hauts-Bassins, Nord). Replications of the field study were conducted in three regions. Pilot interventions are currently being tested in target areas. 

The workshop of 15 March built on the above mentioned assessment of the food losses contributed to Outcome 3 of the joint project. The objective was to bring together political leaders in the field of agricultural development and post-harvest management experts to reflect and discuss policy, strategic and operational proposals and recommendations that Burkina Faso should implement to reduce post-harvest losses significantly. 

The workshop participants elaborated a range of recommendations for the government and its technical and financial partners, in the areas of information sharing and dissemination, capacity building and policy development. 

A first draft policy brief on food loss and waste reduction in the cereals and pulses supply chains was initiated and shared with the participants before the workshop. It served as the basis for the meeting’s discussions and will be revised based on the recommendations formulated during the meeting. Intended for policy-makers and other stakeholders involved in policy formulation and guidance, the policy brief is a decision-making tool aimed at guiding the government’s action in the area of post-harvest loss reduction. 

Among proposed policy recommendations, participants suggested the formation of a working group within the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources, dedicated, inter alia, to the development of a food loss reduction strategy in line with the national priorities. 

The workshop gave an opportunity to fully engage key national stakeholders on discussions for policy development in the area of post-harvest loss reduction, which set up the priority objectives for the second phase of the project.

Photos © FAO/ Alizeta Tapsoba