Access Agriculture: Post-harvest practices

July 09, 2018
A translation for this article is available in French

Good post-harvest practices are important for getting the most from a harvest. Spoiled crops mean less food and income for farmers. A farmer’s hard work receives the greatest benefit if the crop is properly dried, stored, and even processed.

Access Agriculture has several great videos on good post-harvest practices, and you can also download the audio or request a transcript. Create an account and log in to access the content for free.

Groundnuts

Certain kinds of mould grow on groundnuts, maize, and other foods. These moulds produce a poison called aflatoxin. To ensure healthy groundnuts, it is important to care for the crop during its whole production and post-harvest cycle, but especially during drying and storage. Learn more in this video, available in English, French, and Spanish. https://www.accessagriculture.org/managing-aflatoxins-groundnuts-during-drying-and-storage

Maize

Maize grain should be very dry and clean before storage. If stored correctly, the grain will stay free of pests and diseases for a long time in a metal granary. Learn more in this video, available in English and Spanish. Or download the factsheet. https://www.accessagriculture.org/lets-store-our-maize-well

Soya

If soya bean seeds are poorly harvested and stored, moisture and heat will kill the living part of the seed, and they will not germinate. Wet or mouldy seeds will rot during storage. Learn more about harvesting soya bean seed, drying, winnowing, sorting, and storage. This video is available in English and French. Or download the factsheet. https://www.accessagriculture.org/harvesting-and-storing-soya-bean-seed

Soya beans can also be processed into soya cheese, for domestic food or for sale. The video explains the steps for making soya cheese: selecting, winnowing, and sorting good quality grains; soaking the beans; grinding the grain; extracting the soya milk, and cooking the milk for cheese. https://www.accessagriculture.org/making-soya-cheese

Chilies

This video from Malawi explains how to harvest, dry, grade, and store chilies. Moulds which produce aflatoxin can also develop in chilies, so reducing moisture is important. Learn more in this video, available in Bambara, Chichewa, English, Fon, French, Luo, Sena, Twi, Yao, and Yoruba. https://www.accessagriculture.org/drying-and-storing-chillies

Drying chilies with solar energy is a good technique to eliminate moisture. Learn how to make and use a solar dryer in this video, available in Bambara, Chichewa, English, Fon, French, Luo, Sena, Twi, Yao, and Yoruba. https://www.accessagriculture.org/solar-drying-chillies

Chilies can also be processed into powder, which can be used for cooking. Chili powder can be stored longer than the raw vegetable. This video explores good processing techniques to create powder that is consistent in quality, taste, colour, and presentation every time. The video is available in Bambara, Chichewa, English, Fon, French, Kikuyu, Kiswahili, Luo, Sena, Twi, Yao, and Yoruba. https://www.accessagriculture.org/making-chilli-powder