Helping Smallholders Make the Most of Maize Through Loans and Storage Technology: Evidence From Tanzania After-Event Resources

Hira Channa
Jacob Ricker-Gilbert
Julie March
Purdue University
Publication date: 
Thursday, February 22, 2018

Improving staple crop production is widely viewed as crucial for increasing food security and reducing poverty in sub‐Saharan Africa (SSA). However, smallholder households in SSA who cultivate maize and other grains face two major post‐harvest challenges. First, pests cause post‐harvest loss of up to 30 percent during storage, resulting in the household having less grain to sell and consume later in the year. Second, grain prices are almost always lower at harvest than later in the season. Due to credit constraints and the need for cash to meet immediate expenses, many farmers sell at harvest.

In this month's seminar, researchers from Purdue University shared learning from a project funded by USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance that identifies successful strategies to address the dual issues of credit and post-harvest loss among southern Tanzania's smallholder farmers.