POSTHARVEST TECHNOLOGIES IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA: STATUS, PROBLEMS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR IMPROVEMENTS
Limited access to appropriate pre- and postharvest technologies in sub-Saharan Africa is one of the major causes of food losses. FAO/World Bank have estimated losses in the grain sector of over US$ 4 billion. Perishable loss value in Africa may reach 3 to 4 times higher. High losses are often reported for staple major crops in Africa such as cassava, yam, sweet potato, and various fruits, vegetables and leafy crops. Causes are related to low access to improved technical and technological means for the preservation of quality. In some cases crops geared for export in some countries are produced and handled correctly. However, most of the crops oriented for local consumption are generally of poor quality due to mishandling during harvesting, transport, storage, marketing and processing and due to the lack of good infrastructure, such as roads, transport vehicles and insufficient know-how. The use of good postharvest technologies, such as cold storage and processing units, is limited due to high cost, as most of it is imported, to maintenance problem and unavailability of spare parts and to the inexistent and/or intermittent daily availability of electricity supply. Development of postharvest technologies in sub-Saharan Africa should be placed among the top priorities of governments, professional and international organizations, NGOs and the private sector to combat poverty. These technologies already exist in many parts of the world but need to be introduced and adapted to the countrys conditions. The governments should act as facilitators by providing infrastructure and easy access to bank loans, cost-sharing and other means in accordance with their policies.
Ait-Oubahou, A. (2013). POSTHARVEST TECHNOLOGIES IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA: STATUS, PROBLEMS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR IMPROVEMENTS. Acta Hortic. 1012, 1273-1282
postharvest losses, fruit and vegetables, postharvest technologies, lack of infrastructure, developing countries, food security, food availability