Reducing Post-Harvest Losses in Horticulture
There is no doubt that East African Partner States have great potential to grow their sales of various horticultural products domestically and for export. While still a recent entrant into the avocado market, Rwanda’s avocados currently make up 30% of the horticultural exports to the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK). Fine beans- which have been exported for relatively longer-account for about 70% of exports to the same markets. Producers and exporters of both products are grappling with management of post-harvest losses, as the options for increasing shelf life through processing are almost non-existent. As a result, a significant proportion of fine beans production becomes unsuitable for the high value export market and is instead sold to the local market at much lower prices.
Through ITC, MARKUP has recently worked with SMEs and experts in Rwanda to produce handbooks aimed at imparting knowledge and skills to improve operations, post-harvest management efficiencies and enhance product quality to meet import and buyer requirements of EU and UK markets. The handbooks highlight simple low-cost innovations and best practices that can be adapted by producers, exporters and packers of avocados and fine beans to improve their export competitiveness in international and regional markets.
Both handbooks are available in both English and Kinyarwanda.