In 2019, cowpea farmers in the Centre, Passoré and Sanmatenga regions, accompanied by Fert, observed between 2 and 4% of losses when harvesting their cowpeas. These significant losses have prompted the elected members of the cowpea farmers’ organizations in these three regions to request specific support for post-harvest management.
During harvesting, threshing grain, and transportation, losses of agricultural products can be significant, which represents a significant loss of income for farmers. Improving post-harvest practices can allow farmers to increase the value of their cowpeas and thus reduce the hunger season and improve their income.
A young agricultural engineer, a graduate of the University of Dédougou, conducted a study on the management of post-harvest activities by cowpea farmers in the Union régionale des Scoops du Centre, the Passoré cooperative and the Ziga Scoop. In six months, he met more than a hundred farmers and interviewed them about their practices, losses, and strategies for resolving them.
In particular, the study allowed farmers to become aware of the direct impact of their post-harvest practices on losses. The elected members of these cooperatives have expressed a need for support to improve post-harvest practices.
Meetings between cowpea farmers, elected members and agricultural advisors were also organized to develop a pictorial module on post-harvest management.
These images will facilitate exchanges with farmers and make it easier to involve illiterate women farmers in the exchanges.
The principles of good post-harvest management do not only apply to cowpeas and this awareness-raising tool could be used for other crops.