June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
June 19, 2019
Biological and Agricultural Engineering
Post-harvest losses (PHL) remain higher in Sub-Saharan Africa than the rest of the world . Within Ghana, 1.2 million people are food insecure, roughly 5% of the population, and about 2 million people are vulnerable to food insecurity . The technology to prevent PHL, such as hermetic storage, has been available and proven to be effective in various studies. The issue lies in the disconnection between training with the technology and its continual implementation . Over 60% of the population is involved in agriculture, including roughly 50% of the total female population. Women are often marginalized when it comes to agricultural resources and training. Simply focusing efforts of providing support and resources to women in agriculture could increase farm yields by 20%-30% .
The primary goal of this project is to improve the application of technologies targeting the reduction of post-harvest loss in food insecure areas such as Ghana. This work examines a methodology to improve Ghana’s food security by providing better resources and more effective training to women in the country's agricultural community. Research was conducted on the intersection of Ghana’s social and environmental climate, crop storage practices, and technologies with a specific focus on the effect of behavioral and gender roles on women in agriculture. From this information, an educational module was designed for the volunteers who would train the farmers on how to improve their storage practices. This module embodied much of the train the trainer model by teaching both post harvest strategies and how to effectively communicate and teach. The focus of the module was to provide an accurate context of the social environment and issues the volunteers will need to address while training the farmers. In order to best determine the specific needs of an individual area, a case study will be performed within each community and then the training modules are adjusted based on the results. This will better address issues that may have been ignored in the past due to lack of consideration of cultural and individual differences. By first training the volunteers, the aim is to more effectively communicate the practices and technologies being taught so they will be used long term.
Following this module, interviews with experts in the selected area and a more directed case study on a test population will be conducted to develop a training module to be used by the volunteers. An evaluation of the effectiveness of the module will follow the post-harvest season.
Supak, H. E., & Baltazar, V., & Moore, J. M. (2019, June), Training Modules for Improved Storage Techniques to Reduce Post-harvest Losses of Maize in Ghana, Work in Progress Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--33456
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