Postharvest loss is not just about losing valuable crops during and after their harvesting, but wasting the precious and finite resources—land, labor, water, fertilizer, and energy—that went into their growth. It happens in a myriad of different ways, from poor handling to spillage during transport, or spoilage due to poor storage. And these food losses are often happening in the midst of local hunger and poverty.
For farmers, reduced losses mean greater productivity and increased food security, with higher quality produce resulting in more bargaining power with buyers. For governments, fewer losses would mean improved environmental and economic performance. For consumers, fewer losses would mean more and cheaper food. Tackling postharvest loss is a critical element in achieving zero hunger.
And yet despite widespread agreement among decision-makers about the importance of solving this problem, there has been little coordinated research and evaluation on how, exactly, to do this—especially around the training and finance needed to get technological solutions into widespread use.
The goal of this evidence synthesis is to identify the range of field-tested interventions available to tackle postharvest losses across the food system, and then assess whether these interventions are effective and to what degree.
Lead author, Associate Professor, Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich
Metadata librarian, Food Safety and Research Information Office, National Agricultural Library
The full details of the the protocol for this evidence synthesis are available on the OSF open platform run by the Center for Open Science.
Ceres 2030 is a partnership between Cornell IP-CALS, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), and the International Institute of Sustainable Development (IISD)