Sawdust prolongs the storage life of potatoes

| January 5, 2015

Download this story

In many African countries, potatoes play an important role in the food security and livelihoods of farming communities. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, global production and consumption of potatoes is steadily rising. Developing countries now grow more than half the planet’s potatoes.

Storing potatoes can be a big challenge. Potato farmers harvest their whole crop at the same time. This floods the market and means that farmers receive low prices immediately after harvest. But mature potatoes rot if left too long in the field. They are also attacked by pests, bacteria and moulds if improperly stored. This can mean big losses for farmers.

These losses can have serious impacts on food security and incomes. They also contribute to high prices for consumers when the crop is out of season.

The script presents an effective and creative local innovation that a farmer developed to address a storage challenge on his farm.