Farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa have been found to store grain in contraptions made of grass, wood and mud, the Food and Agricultural Organisation said in a report published on Monday.

The United Nations farming body observed that this method of storage provides no defense against pests.

The body also noticed that farmers store produce in their houses due to a lack of storage facilities.

The report said, “Many farmers in sub-Saharan Africa still use traditional grain stores made of grass, wood and mud, which offer little protection against pests.

“In some cases, farmers store grains inside their own house due to a lack of storage facilities or because they are afraid of theft.”

The organisation found that post-harvest losses in grain storage in sub-Saharan Africa is at a maximum of 22.50 per cent.

The report also cited a study from the International Food Policy Research Institute stating that lack of access to market causes post-harvest losses in the country’s maize value chain.

Globally speaking, post-harvest loss was placed at 14 per cent, with variations in the percentage across continents and crop type.

The preference of consumers for aesthetic presentation of food items on shelves in supermarkets and malls, contribute a fair share to post harvest losses, the report found.

“As we strive to make progress towards reducing food loss and waste, we can only be truly effective if our efforts are informed by a solid understanding of the problem,” FAO Director-General, Qu Dongyu, said in the report.

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