How to manage post-harvest loss

From Global development | The Guardian Fri Dec 14 2012, 06:51:00

Much of the food grown in developing countries never makes it past the farm gate, contributing to food insecurity. Caspar van Vark reviews the techniques used to address PHL

The need to increase food production has become a policy mantra. Populations are growing, so we need more food. But much of what is produced never makes it past the farm gate, especially in developing countries. Eliminating those losses is a way to increase food availability without requiring additional resources or placing additional burdens on the environment.

Post-harvest loss (PHL) happen at every stage of the supply chain, but in developing countries losses are the most significant. Harvesting, drying and storage are all stages which see substantial losses, both quantitative (physical losses caused by rodents, insects or infestations) and qualitative (loss of quality and value).

The extent of these losses is substantial but measuring them can be notoriously difficult. Estimates range from 5 to 30% or more, and in sub-Saharan Africa alone the value of PHL overall is thought to be around $4bn (£2.5bn) a year. This represents a vast amount of food, along with the wasted cost and effort of producing it.

[view whole blog post ]
 See More    |     Report Abuse


You might also be interested in the following news stories:

Somalia:   To Fight Hunger, Somali Farmers Turn to Ugandan Roots (news)
Thomson Reuters Foundation
23 September 2016

Could growing cassava and sweet potato help Somali families become more resilient to drought? Amina Shale, a Somali farmer, says worsening droughts and ever more unpredictable weather are making ... [read more]

Niger:   Giraffes Make an Impressive Comeback in Niger (news)
Deutsche Welle
23 September 2016

After decades of falling populations due to poaching and loss of habitat, giraffes are experiencing a comeback in Niger. Conservationists hope that other countries can learn from their success. The ... [read more]

South Africa:   Official Brushes Off Children With Disabilities (news)
Human Rights Watch
21 September 2016

A top South African official spoke in glowing terms earlier this week about the country's successes in ensuring children with disabilities have the same opportunities as other children when it's time ... [read more]



blogAfrica is allAfrica.com's platform to help you keep an ear on the African blogosphere. We draw diverse voices from around the world who post regularly and insightfully about African issues. Bloggers, submit your blog's rss-feed!