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Food security challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa: The potential contribution of postharvest skills, science and technology in closing the gap

Food security challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa: The potential contribution of postharvest skills, science and technology in closing the gap

Mvumi, B.M. and Stathers, T.E. (2015) Food security challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa: The potential contribution of postharvest skills, science and technology in closing the gap. In: 11th International Working Conference on Stored Product Protection. Department of Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Thailand, Bangkok, Thailand, pp. 32-43. (doi:10.14455/DOA.res.2014.7)

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Abstract

More than half of global population growth between 2013 and 2050 is expected to occur in Africa and is projected to more than double from 1.1 billion to 2.4 billion people by 2050. Estimates suggest that globally, sustainable food production will need to increase by 70%. It is essential that postharvest loss (PHL) reduction occurs alongside this increase in sustainable food production and access to meet the enormous food demand. The paper examines the grain PHL levels in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and their implications. The PHL reduction strategies, their merits and limitations are analysed in terms of appropriateness to smallholder farmers, who form the majority of the farming community in Africa. The paper further identifies emerging postharvest research and development issues and the implications at various levels. The need to consolidate the understanding, approaches and metrics of PHL is highlighted. This will enable losses to be measured more quickly, objectively and comparably across commodities and geographical locations in Africa and beyond, and to assist in decision-making and measuring the impact of different initiatives. That PHL reduction is now an aspiration of many high-level development plans across SSA is a significant step forward. However, the challenge still remains of converting this attention into meaningful practical actions and increased knowledge and skills at the scale required to enhance food security across the region.

Item Type: Conference Proceedings
Title of Proceedings: 11th International Working Conference on Stored Product Protection
Uncontrolled Keywords: food production, PHL reduction, PHL metrics, smallholder farmers, postharvest interventions
Subjects: S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Food & Markets Department
Last Modified: 14 Mar 2018 16:17
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: GREAT a
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/15547

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