Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN)


Postharvest Loss Management

Challenges to be addressed through the project

During the scoping studies conducted in Benin and Mozambique in October/November 2012 and further analysis of its findings, the following main challenges of post harvest management in SSA were identified and shall be tackled in this project:

At institutional level

  • Lack of awareness of national and local governments regarding the relevance and potential of reducing post harvest losses, and consequently lack of concrete PHM policies and funding.
  • Only few initiatives explicitly tackle the topic of PHM.
  • Topic of PHM is not included in the curriculum of public extension services and rural advisory services (RAS).
  • Some local NGOs and international initiatives promote the topic, but not at a broad scale.
  • Lack of specific RAS tools and methodologies that allow for promoting PHM practices effectively.

At household / community level

  • Insufficient awareness on causes of PHL and means of reducing them
  • Lack of organization between producers. Individual selling of crops rather than concerted marketing
  • Insufficient financial means of households forcing them to sell at harvest, hence no possibility to wait with selling for periods of higher prices; hence no means for investments, e.g. in more efficient storage techniques
  • Gradual loss of traditional knowledge on local storage technologies and practices
  • Inappropriate conservation methodologies, e.g. use of harmful pesticides
  • Limited access to market information at the local level
  • Unfavourable climatic conditions: short dry periods and high humidity hence insufficient drying of grains and frequent incidence of fungus (e.g. aflatoxin) or fermentation
  • Only minor production of grains in some regions, hence lack of volumes for storage

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