Technical Platform on the Measurement and Reduction of Food Loss and Waste

Towards a specific post-harvest loss management policy and strategy for Mozambique

The Agriculture Sector in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is characterized by poor post-harvest practices. Post-harvest losses (PHL) in SSA are the highest in the world (PHL) amounting to between 26% and 36%. This corresponds to 120-170kg/capita year of production losses of edible parts of the food. Poor post-harvest practices are related to financial, technical and managerial limitations of farmers, who mainly consist of poor smallholders. PHL contribute significantly to food insecurity in rural and urban areas in most of SSA countries. The post-harvest losses in Mozambique are estimated to be over 30%. This partly explains the high levels of food insecurity in the country.

The majority of smallholder farmers grow and store their food products at the households. However, due to poor post-harvest handling (PHH) practices and unsuitable storage conditions, the food products only last for three months, after which they are lost through deterioration. The poor storage conditions force farmers to sell their surplus during the harvesting period at low prices, resulting in lower income for farmers. This in turn means they will not be able to purchase processed foods in lean season, which increases their food insecurity. Therefore, there is need to develop strategies that can be used to secure food throughout the year in rural communities.

Year: 2015