The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has provided 165 Gunji kits worth Rs 14.7 million and enabling storage of 58,000 metric tons of wheat to Pakistan Agricultural Storage and Services Corporation (Passco) in a joint effort to reduce post-harvest losses. Previously, WFP supplied 500 kits along with 10 wheat cleaning/grading machines to Passco in 2012.
During a ceremony organised at Passco headquarters here on Thursday, WFP Representative and Country Director, Lola Castro, handed over these kits to Acting Managing Director, Lieutenant Colonel Muhammad Younis (Retd). WFP Punjab’s Chief, Shahzada Rashid, and Passco senior general managers and officials were also present on the occasion.
According to recent national studies, post-harvest losses in Pakistan are estimated at 10 to 15 percent. About 78 percent of wheat is stacked in the open and the organisation has started to gradually improve its storage capacity in order to protect the wheat. “The contribution of kits over the past two years is part of WFP’s co-investment with the Government of Pakistan in achieving enhanced and effective storage of wheat in order to reduce post-harvest losses due to spoilage and infestation and to obtain improved shelf-life and quality of stored wheat.
This initiative has the added benefit of improving food security in Pakistan by increasing the amount and quality of wheat available for consumption by the population” said Lola Castro. “The kits provided by WFP will enhance protection of wheat stacked in areas where Passco does not have any concrete godowns. We are very pleased to acknowledge the support provided by WFP which will enable Passco to further improve its wheat storage capacity and the quality of wheat”, said Lieutenant Colonel Muhammad Younis (Retd).