Counting losses to cut losses: quantifying legume postharvest losses to help achieve food and nutrition security

Tanya Stathers, Kukom Edoh Ognakossan, Jan Priebe, Brighton M. Mvumi, Bruno M. D. Tran
Projections suggest that by 2050 global food production will need to have increased by 70% to meet food demands associated with the world's population growth. Such forecasts, alongside growing awareness of the socio-ecological costs of food loss, and political ramifications of food crises have seen postharvest loss (PHL) reduction reappearing as a development priority. Particularly so in sub-Saharan Africa, a region deemed highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, where 307 million
more » ... ple are already affected by severe food insecurity, and the population is projected to double by 2050. Targets for reduced PHL are emphasised in the African Union's Malabo Declaration and Sustainable Development Goal 12.3. However, crop postharvest systems are complex and losses occur in various ways at different activity stages and due to a host of diverse reasons. To better target and prioritise loss reduction investments and policies we need to understand how much food is being lost postharvest, where, and why. The African Postharvest Losses Information Systems (APHLIS), brought a rigorous knowledge management approach to cereal PHLs. We are now expanding this to include key legume and other crops and estimates of the nutritional and financial values of these losses. The scientific literature was screened to build profiles of the PHLs occurring along the value chains, and combined with contextual information, to provide science-based estimates of PHLs where direct measurements are not available. We discuss these legume PHL profiles and the related opportunities and knowledge gaps.
doi:10.5073/jka.2018.463.004 fatcat:w65ymernrng5zgwplpl7odfceq