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Mallet, M. and du Plessis, P. 2001. Mahangu Post-Harvest Systems: A Summary of Current Knowledge about Pearl Millet Post-Harvest Issues in Namibia. Prepared for Ministry of Agricul ture, Water and Rural Development, Directorate of Planning. Research Report


Description:

Mahangu Post-Harvest Systems: A Summary of Current Knowledge about Pearl Millet Post-Harvest Issues in Namibia.

Summary / Notes:

In order to share information and disseminate findings, this paper condenses all the reports produced to date under the project "Technical Support to the Small Scale Mahangu and Other Grain Processing and Marketing Industry in the Northern Communal Areas of Namibia". A list of reports appears in Annex 1. Results of other relevant work on pearl millet post-harvest issues are also included (see Bibliography). The present world situation around mahangu (pearl millet) production and trade isrndescribed an d a working definition of post-harvest systems is presented. National cereal production, including mahangu, is compared with national cereal consumption. The role of imports is quantified and described. Despite a strong consumer preference for mahangu in some sectors, cheap maize meal is very important because the price of cereals plays a crucial role in the food security, nutritional status and living standard ofrnespecially the poorest households. Existing on-farm post-harvest systems are described for harvesting, drying, seed selection, threshing and winnowing, on-farm storage, household food processing and grain marketing, and related research and development needs are identified. The current trade in mahangu grain in various markets is characterised and partially quantified. The service and commercial mahangu milling sectors are described and quantified, and the constraints they face are elucidated (see Maps 1-3). Finally the summarised informationrnis discussed in relations to mahangu promotion policy. It is concluded that better post-harvest practices and technology can increase the effective national harvest and the efficiency of processing, but that sustainable growth of the secondary and tertiary mahangu sectors will ultimately need to be supported by increased primary production and/or more reliable and cheaper imports of mahangu grain, especially in drought years. However, many of the constraints on mahangu post-harvest systems have been identified and addressing these constraints is therefore a priority area for immediate intervention.

Year: 2001

Type: Report

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