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This study deals with the Post-harvest losses occurring in perishable crops and how they can be reduced or prevented. It is the combined result of study tours, literature search, and discussions during an Expert Consultation jointly organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme in May 1980. More than 30 specialists from the different disciplines of the post-harvest system and representing a wide geographical area were at one stage or another involved in this study.

This publication is primarily intended for policy-makers, planners, development corporations and potential investors in the developing countries, although it could conveniently be used as background material for training courses in post-harvest technology. With its mixture of technical background information and recommendations for curative action it is hoped that the document will create sufficient awareness for initiating steps to recover a food availability which is now lost.

The publication is divided into two main parts, preceded by a Summary in which the Recommendations for post-harvest loss prevention measures in perishable crops are incorporated.

In Part I the concept of post-harvest loss prevention and its increasing importance to provide more food is introduced followed by the Conclusions reached by the Expert Consultation. Part II describes the technical aspects of post-harvest losses and the factors that influence their magnitude and opportunities for their reduction.

Correspondence concerning this publication should be directed to:

Agricultural Services Division
FAO Headquarters
Via delle Terme di Caracalla
00100 Roma, Italia

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