The impact of hermetic storage bag supply and training on food security in Tanzania

Peer Reviewed
11 June 2020

Reduction of post-harvest loss (PHL) can play an important role in complementing efforts to address food security challenges. This paper used data from 390 small-scale maize farmers in Kilosa, Tanzania to analyse the impact of post-harvest management training and the supply of hermetic bags on food insecurity status in a framed field experiment setting with two treatments. In the first treatment group, farmers were trained on post-harvest management, and in the second treatment they were given the same training as the first treatment group and were, in addition, provided with hermetic bags for storing maize. Our estimations show that the interventions had an impact in reducing maize PHL and household food insecurity. The intervention combining training and supply of hermetic bags abated maize PHL by 53%, whereas the training intervention alone abated PHL by 26%. Further, the intervention combining training and supply of hermetic bags reduced the household food insecurity access scale (HFIAS) score by 30.9% while the training intervention alone reduced it by 10.8% relative to the control group. The two interventions also lowered the probability of treated households experiencing moderate or severe food insecurity, and increased the probability of households being food secure or mildly insecure relative to the control group. Notably, the intervention which combined training and supply of hermetic bags had a significantly larger impact compared to the one providing training only. These results imply that more investment should be done on interventions to reduce PHL to complement efforts to improve food security. They also point to possible affordable interventions to reduce maize PHL and the importance of supplying material support in addition to training to minimize PHL and improve food security in Tanzania.

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Publication | 7 August 2020