Recently, under the support of the WFP China COE, Dr. Zhang Zhongjie, researcher from the Academy of National Food and Strategic Reserves Administration, and Professor Xie Yanli from Henan University of Technology, provided training and technical support for WFP-MARA South-South and Triangular Cooperation Field Pilot Initiative - Sri Lanka Project to help local smallholders reduce maize post-harvest losses.
Since 2019, WFP has been conducting the SSTC Field Pilot Initiative across Ecuador, Kenya, The Republic of Congo, Sri Lanka, Peru and Ghana, funded by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of China (MARA). These pilot projects aim to create benefits for the most vulnerable people suffering from food insecurity and malnutrition by tapping into China’s successful experience in fighting hunger and malnutrition. South-South modalities for the roll-out of the projects include policy dialogues, expert deployment, study visits and workshops/seminars.
The Sri Lanka project targets the development of rice and maize value chains, emphasizing improvements in post-harvest management. Under the project, Chinese experts are invited to offer technical support, share China’s experience and provide training on maize post-harvest management and aflatoxin control, grain product manufacturing and rural e-commerce development.
Dr. Zhang Zhongjie, arriving in Sri Lanka on 10 December, conducted a field visit with officers from WFP Sri Lanka CO for a comprehensive understanding of maize production, post-harvest management methods, and relevant equipment in the project area. On 18 and 19 December, Dr. Zhang Zhongjie and Professor Xie Yanli jointly provided training, with a combined online and offline approach, on the Workshop on Post Harvest Management and Aflatoxin Control in Maize in Colombo. Over 30 representatives from relevant government departments, research institutions, enterprises, and smallholder farmers participated in the training.
Dr. Zhang Zhongjie and a maize grower in the project area
Dr. Zhang Zhongjie talks with villagers about local grain production, prices, storage and household consumption.
Dr. Zhang Zhongjie in the field
During the training, Dr. Zhang Zhongjie introduced China’s experience in maize post-harvest management, tailored to Sri Lanka context. He shared insights into China’s experience and practices in grain storage, including the development of state-owned grain depots and household grain storage, as well as smart grain storage. Professor Xie Yanli delved into the characteristics and hazards of Aflatoxin flavus, preventive measures, and control strategies, along with testing instruments for aflatoxin. The experts also provided targeted solutions for post-harvest management and aflatoxin control in maize for Sri Lanka.
Dr. Zhang Zhongjie provides training offline.
Professor Xie Yanli provides training online.
The training and technical support from the two experts have improved local people’s capacity in maize post-harvest management and aflatoxin control, and enhanced the development of the local maize value chain. Participants in the training expressed a keen interest in further strengthening the cooperation with China and implementing China’s experience in the Sri Lankan context to further increase local agricultural productivity and food security, contributing to the improvement of smallholder farmers' livelihoods.