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Training Modules for Improved Storage Techniques to Reduce Post-harvest Losses of Maize in Ghana, Work in Progress

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Incorporating the Community into the Classroom

Tagged Division

Biological and Agricultural Engineering

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Paper Authors


Hallie E. Supak Texas A&M University

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I am a senior undergraduate student at Texas A&M University studying Biological and Agricultural Engineering. I have been working with my partner and co-author Victoria Baltazar since May on this project. We are apart of the Post-Harvest Engineering and Education (PHEED) research group under the supervision of Dr. Janie Moore PhD focusing on post-harvest loss education and improvement in African countries with a special interest in women farmers. This is a topic I am very passionate about and am excited about the opportunity to develop our research further.

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Victoria Baltazar


Janie M. Moore Texas A&M University Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Janie McClurkin Moore is an Assistant Professor in the Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department at Texas A&M University in College Station. A native of Columbus, Ohio, she attended North Carolina A&T State University where she received a B.S. in Bio Environmental Engineering in 2006. She then began pursuing her graduate education at Purdue University in the Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department, completing her Ph.D. in 2015. Her primary research areas include 1) mycotoxin risk assessment and treatment in stored grains and 2) innovate instructional strategies for Biological and Agricultural Engineering students.

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Post-harvest losses (PHL) remain higher in Sub-Saharan Africa than the rest of the world [1]. Within Ghana, 1.2 million people are food insecure, roughly 5% of the population, and about 2 million people are vulnerable to food insecurity [2]. 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 [3]. 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% [4].

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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