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2018-05-28 | Peer Reviewed

Post-harvest losses reduction by small-scale maize farmers: The role of handling practices

Chegere, Martin J. . 2018. “Post-harvest losses reduction by small-scale maize farmers: The role of handling practices.” Food Policy :77: 103-115.
Download reference Doi:10.1016/j.foodpol.2018.05.001

Concerns about food insecurity have grown in Sub-Saharan Africa due to rapidly growing population and food price volatility. Post-harvest Losses (PHL) reduction has been identified as a key component to complement efforts to address food security challenges and improve farm incomes, especially for the rural poor.

This study analyses the role of recommended post-harvest handling practices in PHL reduction; and conducts a cost-benefit analysis of adopting practices associated with lower losses. The study finds that maize farmers lose about 11.7 percent of their harvest in the post-harvest system. About two-thirds of this loss occurs during storage. The study shows that adoption of recommended post-harvest handling practices is highly correlated with lower PHL. Lastly the study finds that the cost of implementing some of the recommended practices outweighs the benefits associated with lower PHL. It then discusses the reasons why some farmers may not adopt some of the practices and points out some contributions to the literature.