Dissemination: POSTCOSECHA Training

The dissemination of the POSTCOSECHA strategy is assured by public and NGO training & development institutions who propagate the technology and carry out trainings for farmers and tinsmiths.

In Central America, local tinsmiths (private entrepreneurs) were trained for the production of silos and in micro-enterprise management. Since few local tinsmiths existed, volunteering farmers were trained to become tinsmiths. Training was done in a series of 5 consecutive one-week workshops, with in-between periods of practice and quality control. The first two training modules focus on silo production and general tinsmith work, the second two on micro-enterprise management. The 5th module qualifies tinsmiths for semi-industrial production of silos.
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Public and private development and training institutions were contracted to include POSTCOSECHA technology in their work program and thereby to act as so called "transfer channels" for the new technology. Training was done for extension officers to be able to explain the most important mechanisms of post-harvest grain losses, and to convince farmers to adopt the new technology. In areas with low penetration of lending institutions, the development organizations often also operated small credit schemes which were used to fund tinsmith start-ups or silo purchase.

Main critical dissemination factors

Silo quality is considered to be the single most import success factor of the entire strategy. Production quality is mainly determined by the competence of tinsmiths, which again is mainly dependent on training quality and work quality control. In Central America, a centralized quality control system was used by the program management structure, and quality certificates were available for tinsmiths and silos.

Preconditions at farm level: are labour available during harvest season to remove grains from the ears and can economic benefit be achieved within 1 to 3 years?

Motivation of extension officers is critical.