Flagship 5 will focus on promoting post-harvest value addition and market access to enhance income of smallholder dryland cereal producers to improve smallholder income beyond mere subsistence.
To create demand-driven adoption, Flagship 5 will address pilot value-chain incubators and reduced postharvest losses. Gender analysis is a cross-cutting activity in this flagship, and is critical for ensuring that the benefits from improved market access and post-harvest value addition flow equally to women and men.
Efforts to reduce post-harvest losses will include assessment of post-harvest losses from insects, rodents, moulds and other sources, as well as management strategies to reduce severity. Poor storability of flours from millets under humid conditions due to rancidity is identified as a research target for breeding and processing technologies in regions where the problem is severe. Poor seed quality resulting from overheating during drying, moulds, insect damage etc, is also of concern, and proper management practices will be promoted to improve germination and plant stands.
Dryland Cereals will leverage its partnerships to improve the quality of stored seed, grain and flour. Further, commercialization requires mechanization to cope with increased harvest volumes and to improve grain quality. The feasibility and profitability of small-scale mechanization for sorghum will be evaluated based on experience at field level to assess market demand, and linkages will be made with private engineering firms to promote adoption.