Research at the global level has shown that halving losses and waste along the food value-chain would save food resources equivalent to 25% of current agricultural production. The level of PHLs in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) is comparable to a devastating disease, ignored by the victims themselves. Indeed, although PHLs are silently compromising farmers' food security and development, most of them pay little attention to the phenomenon, either despairing of acquiring affordable technologies to address it or by accepting it as fate of nature. PHLs continuously weaken the capacity of farmers to keep the food produced for their survival, and to accumulate revenues needed to reduce poverty and improve their livelihoods. While agricultural productivity is low in SSA and has not substantially increased over the last 20 years', post-harvest loss of grains and pulses are estimated at about 14% of production, and valued up to US$4 billion, which is enough to feed 48 million people. Technologies to address them are specific to the various stages in the value chain, and their adoption will depend, inter alia, on their ability to save labour and to preserve or improve food quality. This concern is particularly expressed by women, who are involved in many stages of the food value-chain, especially in crop harvesting, food processing and trade. Unfortunately, little attention has been paid to women's demand for Iabour-saving technologies and food quality that take into account local culture and related food habits.
This policy brief will highlight the importance of PHLs and the main constraints to the adoption of PHM technologies followed by a discussion on scaling-up promising technologies.
Finally, recommendations are made for Improving PHM-related policies in Benin. In particular, emphasis is put on how the 'Plan Stratégique de Relance du Secteur Agricole-PSRSA' (Strategic Plan for Reviving the Agricultural Sector), which now functions as the national agricultural policy framework, could be more effective in promoting these technologies.