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From: Food security – Footsteps 32

The importance of producing, processing, storing and distributing food locally

There are many different blocks which may prevent the storing and preserving of food.

Selling food Farmers may sell much or all of the food they produce immediately because:

After harvest, however, food prices are usually low because many farmers sell at the same time. Later in the year prices usually rise.

Pests or moulds Much food may be lost or spoilt during storage by moulds or by insects, rats and mice because:

Lack of equipment or knowledge Much food may be lost because families either do not have the right equipment for preserving foods or because they do not know the best methods of preserving them – especially for newer crops, which may have no tradition of preservation in their culture.

Making improvements

There are several ways of helping people, including:

Information adapted from Nutrition for Developing Countries by Felicity Savage King and Ann Burgess (see 'Resources').

Drying vegetables

When fruit and vegetables are in season, prices will be very low. In rural areas it makes sense to dry the extra produce and store it for later. In urban areas, buy extra quantities when prices are low and preserve them for later. To dry fruit and vegetables, cut into small pieces and dry well, preferably in a solar drier (see Footsteps 21). Keep in air-tight containers or plastic bags. Check regularly for mould.

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