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Missing Food: The Case of Postharvest Grain Losses in Sub-Saharan Africa

World Bank Group | Natural Resources Institute (NRI) | Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
Year Published:
Resource Type:
Technical Guidance | Tools & Manuals

In light of food security challenges, this report takes stock of the current state of knowledge and technology with respect to the on-farm and community-level postharvest handling and storing grains, with a view to raise the profile of postharvest losses (PHL) and to provide policy recommendations. This activity also aims to help revive and invigorate a theme and body of knowledge and to stimulate greater coordination and collaboration between the World Bank, AfDB, FAO, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the European Union Delegation (EU), and possibly other interested donors or regional development banks.

The report consists of five chapters. Chapter 2 considers the importance of grain production in SSA, describing typical postharvest handling and marketing stages, stating the nature of PHL, presenting the available estimates, and discussing the problems of PHL estimation. Chapter 3 discusses the options available to reduce PHL and achieve better adoption of technologies in SSA, and it analyzes the reasons for low adoption of PHL-reducing technologies. Chapter 4 looks at the evolution of government and donor approaches and identifies areas for future interventions, informed by the questionnaire survey of postharvest experts. The way forward for PHL reduction is presented in Chapter 5.