Postharvest Losses in Africa: Analytical Review and Synthesis

Across Africa, postharvest losses along the food chain from farm to fork jeopardize the food security of resource-poor farmers. Reducing postharvest losses can help increase food availability and improve access to food, nutritional quality, food safety, and farmers' incomes.

Data on postharvest losses is in short supply. Estimates often refer to the same limited primary datasets collected up to 30 years ago. This project will offer a critical and comprehensive review and synthesis of evidence on the nature, magnitude, costs, and value of current postharvest losses. It will look at various groups of commodities along the value chain in sub-Saharan Africa.

Researchers will conduct a comparative analysis across commodities (cereals, grains, roots and tubers, vegetables and fruits, livestock, and livestock products), value chains, and different contexts in six African countries: Tanzania, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Ghana, and Benin. Results will provide tools, best practices, and guidelines for conducting more accurate postharvest loss assessments. They will also guide researchers' efforts to design and implement a portfolio of applied action research to reduce food losses in sub-Saharan Africa.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Thursday, February 2, 2012

End Date

Friday, August 2, 2013


12 months

IDRC Officer

Sanginga, Pascal

Total funding

CA$ 350,000


North of Sahara, South of Sahara, Benin, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania


Agriculture and Food Security

Project Leader

Dr. Hippolyte Affognon


International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology

Institution Country


Institution Website