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Post-harvest losses cost African countries $4b worth of food every year – AGRA

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riceAfrican countries are said to be losing over $4 billion worth of food every year as a result of post-harvest losses.

Ms. Anne Mbaabu, the Director of Markets at the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) told a workshop in Nairobi, Kenya Wednesday February 6, 2013.

She said the losses result from post-harvest inefficiencies across the staples agricultural value chain.

“Post-harvest losses significantly endanger the livelihoods of stakeholders across the value chain by reducing valuable incomes and profitability,” Ms. Mbaabu said, adding that, “Research has shown that a reduction of just one per cent in post-harvest losses can lead to a gain of $40 million annually. Imagine the impact if we are to reduce the losses by just two per cent.”

Reflecting over the impact of post-harvest losses on the continent, participants at the workshop decried the fact that there is very little data to demonstrate the real impact of post-harvest losses in Africa.

The meeting hosted by AGRA, in partnership with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, agreed that post-harvest losses are a major contributor to food insecurity in Africa and there is an urgent need to mitigate the negative impacts across the agricultural value chain.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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