Journal of
Development and Agricultural Economics

  • Abbreviation: J. Dev. Agric. Econ.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-9774
  • DOI: 10.5897/JDAE
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 514

Full Length Research Paper

Integration of post-harvest management in agricultural policy and strategies to minimise post harvest losses in Lesotho

Brian Muroyiwa
  • Brian Muroyiwa
  • Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, National University of Lesotho, Roma, Lesotho.
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Liako Shokopa
  • Liako Shokopa
  • Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, National University of Lesotho, Roma, Lesotho.
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Puselesto Likoetla
  • Puselesto Likoetla
  • Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, National University of Lesotho, Roma, Lesotho.
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Montoeli Rantlo
  • Montoeli Rantlo
  • Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, National University of Lesotho, Roma, Lesotho.
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  •  Received: 27 May 2019
  •  Accepted: 05 July 2019
  •  Published: 31 May 2020

Abstract

Despite global efforts to increase food availability and curb high incidence of malnutrition in Africa, there are concerns with regard to high post-harvest losses in Africa. Lesotho like most countries in sub-Saharan Africa faces documented challenges with food insecurity and nutrition. Food availability could be increased by reduction of post-harvest losses without further exploitation of resources. Mitigation of post-harvest losses is seen as a possible antidote for increasing food availability and nutritional status in countries experiencing high food losses. This study investigated the extent of integration of post-harvest management in agricultural policy in Lesotho and strategies to minimise post-harvest losses. Purposive sampling was utilised in order to select a sample of twenty-five respondents on which interviews were conducted. Thematic analysis was used to identify a set of overarching themes that can be used to describe the policy environment and strategies to reduce post-harvest losses. The analysis suggests that there is absence of a direct policy to guide post-harvest management activities in Lesotho, it is only referred to indirectly in other policies with the exception of dairy products sector which has a direct post harvest management policy. Strategies to curb post-harvest losses were also identified. The study concludes that there is need for a direct policy to address post-harvest management in Lesotho.

Key words: Lesotho, post harvest management, natural resources, food policy, agricultural development.