Joint research study to investigate post-harvest losses at national silos launched
The National Commission on Research, Science and Technology (NCRST) together with the AGRO Marketing and Trade Agency (AMTA) launched a joint-research study which will investigate the magnitude and causes of post-harvest losses of grain during storage at the national silos.
The research study which will be led by a Master of Science student from the University of Namibia (UNAM) is expected to take place over a two-year period and will start as soon as new grain is loaded into the silos. The need for such a research project was born especially in the midst of discourse surrounding food security and sustainability.
An inception meeting was held on 9 March, where one MSc student, Jonas Shimbwadala and two BSc students Petrus Haitembu and Sabine Tjikumbaize signed their funding agreements to undertake the research for the period 2018-2019.
The joint research call is envisaged to have a total value of N$62,000, which includes N$32,000 for the Master’s student and N$30,000 (N$15,000.00 each) for the two Bachelor Degree students. The funding goes towards both tuition and travelling costs.
AMTA Senior Manager for National Strategic Food Reserves, Wilhelmina Handunge was confident that this research will assist the entity to develop standardized methods/procedures of loss assessment and control that can easily be applied by grain handlers at grain storage facilities country wide.
NCRST and AMTA signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in June 2016 in this regard. The purpose of the MoU was to establish a strategic partnership between the two organisations, with the aim of facilitating research, development and innovation in the agro-processing sector.
Meanwhile, the study will be carried out at the National Strategic Food Reserves (NSFR) grain storage facilities managed by AMTA.
“Research in the agro-processing sector has been limited and as the Commission, we wish to coordinate and support research output, which will in turn aid capacity development and serve as data for future studies,” said Lovisa Kambonde-Immanuel, the Manager for Innovation and Industrial Research at the NCRST.