In an effort to reduce post harvesting loss, the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) embraced Hermetic Storage Technology (HST), which was in a pilot stage in four regional states for the last three years.
According to agricultural experts, hermetic bags are safe and affordable on-farm storage technology that allows small scale farmer families keep grain year-round for household consumption, while providing the household with a marketable surplus in cases of emergencies and to sale when market prices are more favorable.
Ethiopia loses over 30 percent of agricultural produce every year due to post-harvesting loss. Studies conducted by different organizations including FAO indicate that the figures go as high as 70 percent in case of horticultural crops.
Feed the Future Ethiopia Value Chain Activity (FTF EVCA), the U.S Government’s global hunger and food security initiative, organized a national workshop on Hermetic Storage Technology (HST) on March 24, 2020 at Hilton Hotel.
The objective of the workshop was to build synergy between the public and private sectors’ agricultural extension for post-harvest storage loss reduction through hermetic storage technology. The three NGOs have been piloting HST for the last three years in Amhara, Tigray, Oromia and Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples regional states.
“Farmers need new technologies like hermetic storages for better productivity,” said Dereje Asamenew, Input and Market research Advisor at the MoA. He added “HST bags help farmers avoid insects’ damage to stored grains and curb health problems caused by excessive use of chemicals to preserve crops.”
The Ministry is promoting the use of HST through extension programs by explaining its importance to keep grain year-round for household consumption and sell their surplus to the market. It is also facilitating tax-free incentives for companies engaged in the import and distribution of HST bags and other agricultural technologies. Using such a privilege, Feed the Future has previously signed contracts with Shashemene Plc, HiTEC Trading House, and EGAA Plc, companies involved in manufacturing, and distribution of HST bags.
“The government has authorized the import of raw materials for the production of HST bags without tax. Even though this is commendable, there are issues of consistency on the ground while implementing such incentives,” said Habtamu Tsegaye, Crop Chain Officer at Feed the Future.