|Post-harvest rice activities support the
livelihoods of more people than those who are involved in rice cultivation
The term, "post-harvest activities"
refers to the suite of processes "from the floor to the fork" -
threshing, milling, processing, market transport and cooking.
Although much progress has been made in
the prevention of post-harvest losses in rice, in developing countries rice
losses average between 15 and 16 percent. These rice losses are significant
during critical operations such as drying, storage and milling. The major
reasons for these losses are poverty, insufficient or scarce access to
technical information and lack of access to appropriate technologies.
Rice is Life not only because of the
food provided by its grains, but also because of the contribution of various
parts of the rice plant to human life. For example, rice straw has been used as
roofing material. A participatory assessment of farmers' needs, therefore, is
essential for an efficient post-harvest system because each stage of the
process includes specific trade-offs.
The contribution of post-harvest
operations to economic development is often underestimated. The production,
servicing and maintenance of tools, implements and equipment for harvest and
post-harvest operations have created additional sources of employment for rural
populations, while the trading of rice tools has supported the development of
many manufacturing industries.