Postharvest loss estimates for wheat
Substantial crop losses occur at various stages along the postharvest value chain. Losses result from poor handling and storage practices combined with limited awareness, infrastructure, and knowledge. The African Postharvest Losses Information System (APHLIS) (www.aphlis.net) is the foremost international effort to collect, analyse and disseminate data on postharvest losses of cereal grains in sub-Saharan Africa. The cumulative % loss in weight incurred during harvesting, drying, threshing/shelling, winnowing, household-level storage, transport and market-level storage for the selected crop, location, and year is presented. Complimentary data sets are collected and used to convert this % loss into absolute loss values in tonnes, US$ and nutrients, along with the nutritional and financial impacts of these losses by province and country. Understanding the magnitude of postharvest loss, the points in the value chain where losses occur, and the causes and impacts of loss helps decision-makers formulate effective policies and invest in successful postharvest loss programmes.
Rembold, F. (2011). The African postharvest losses information system (APHILIS): An innovative framework to analyse and compute quantitative postharvest losses for cereals under different farming and environmental conditions in east and southern Africa. Luxembourg : Publications Office of the European Union.
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While APHLIS loss estimates are based on robust scientific research, the limited existing body of research on postharvest loss means that sometimes data are missing or incomplete. In these cases, studies providing data on similar crops or contexts are used to fill these gaps. APHLIS is fully transparent with regards to the methodology used to create its estimates, and the academic research underlying its model - references of studies used to calculate loss are provided alongside the data itself.
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