INNOVATION IN POST-HARVEST LOSS & FOOD WASTE REDUCTION
Preserving nutrients, improving livelihoods, and realizing an efficient food system
Advance a common, collaborative research agenda focused on deploying member expertise across the global food system
Enhance academic and entrepreneurial capacity of the next generation to deliver nutritious foods and ensure food security
Develop practical approaches to measure value chain loss and waste
Increase efficiencies in the global food system to sustainably preserve nutrients
Achieve sustained, scalable implementation of appropriate methods to preserve, process, package, and transport nutritious foods
News & Events
COVID-19 is affecting the entire world, including our Consortium members and activities. Our first priority is the safety and wellbeing of everyone. To that end we have reached out to all our members and the good news is that everyone is safe and healthy for now! Additionally, we are working with them to adjust ongoing and planned research. We are moving as much work as feasible to virtual collaboration which allows many of our initiatives to remain ongoing. We are working to understand how research may be affected and how we might adjust to complete it in the future. We want to make sure that especially our graduate students can continue to make progress towards completing their degrees in a timely manner. Our funders – the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) and the Rockefeller Foundation – have been incredibly supportive. They understand the situation is impacting the entire world. Please take care of yourselves and your loved ones, remain healthy, and stay in virtual touch!
- Dr. Dirk E. Maier, Consortium Director
The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) announced that it is undertaking a standard setting process for the testing and performance of hermetic grain-storage bags. Dr. Dirk E. Maier and his Ph.D. student Ma. Cristine Concepcion D. Ignacio initiated the standard setting process through actions undertaken with ASABE and their extensive hermetic storage research conducted at Iowa State University is underpinning the standard. Completion and adoption of the standard is a key objective for the Consortium for Innovation for Post-Harvest Loss and Food Waste Reduction.
The YieldWise investments in Kenyan Zero Loss Centres, also typically known as Smallholder Aggregation Centres, achieved significant gains for farmer income and was able to reduce post-harvest losses of mangoes. Data collected shows that a ton of fresh mangoes aggregated at a Kenyan Zero Loss Centre can fetch $150 to $250 per ton while at the farm gate price, a ton of fresh mangoes goes for less than $100. These centres provide a compelling case for further investment in post-harvest loss reducing innovations.
The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) awarded the prestigious 2020 Sukup Global Food Security Award to Dr. Dirk E. Maier. He is a world renowned Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Professor at Iowa State University and Director of the Consortium for Innovation in Post-Harvest Loss and Food Waste Reduction. Dr. Maier was recognized at ASABE’s annual international meeting for his career devoted to enhancing food and nutrition security worldwide through development and delivery of innovative engineering scholarship focused on stored product protection.
Joseph Oppong Akowuah was focused on both school and sport growing up. He is an accomplished educator, agricultural engineer, and footballer. He even had to choose between progressing in professional, club football or attending university. During our talk on Zoom, I got the impression that the choice between playing and studying was exceedingly difficult and one he might still debate today. He ultimately chose to attend Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and excelled as a student. That meant he eventually took up a teaching and research position at the institution.
In Uganda, Iowa State University is implementing a microfinancing model for the deployment of plastic silos that hermetically seal stored grain along with tarps for sun drying and grain handling. The aim is to foster the adoption of post-harvest technologies that will safeguard stored grain by reducing loss from mold, insects and rodents. Continue reading...
An initial assessment of the Rockefeller YieldWise intervention in Tanzania indicates that the initiative’s multicomponent approach provided important lessons learned, particularly as to the importance of establishing linkages in the maize supply chain. In Tanzania, where maize is a major human staple food, that approach targeted several dimensions of the maize supply chain. Continue reading...
The Global Action Agenda identifies a three-pronged approach to halve food loss and waste by 2030. It calls on governments, companies, farmers, consumers, and everyone in between to: (1) “Target-Measure-Act”: Set food loss and waste reduction targets, measure to identify hotspots of food loss and waste and monitor progress over time, and take action on the hotspots; (2) pursue a short “to-do” list per player in the food supply chain as “no regret” first steps toward taking action; and (3) collaborate on 10 “scaling interventions” to ramp up deployment of Target-Measure-Act and the to-do list.
Consortium expertise shapes report
Reducing Food Loss and Waste: Ten Interventions to Scale Impact, delves deeper into the scaling up of interventions designed to accelerate and spread adoption of policies and practices to halve food loss and waste by 2030. It describes what these polices and practices are, why they are needed, and what the next steps are for getting them going.
11 Consortium members are credited as collaborators on this report.
In December 2019, a team from the University of Maryland returned to Kenya for a second round of 50 intensive, qualitative interviews. Affiliates of the Ed Snider Center for Enterprise & Markets, the team focused on analyzing the impact of the Rockefeller Foundation’s YieldWise Initiative in the Kenyan mango value chain. This round of interviews was informed by an earlier trip in 2019 that yielded a set of lessons learned that was subsequently published as a research blog on the Consortium website. This portion of the study aimed to dig deeper into those lessons and to come to a better understanding about the uptake of YieldWise interventions and even the motivations and behaviors behind choices to adopt and continue to deploy the interventions. Click to continue reading the blog.
By: Bert Dijkink and Jan BroezeWageningen Food & Biobased Research CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS)
Cassava provides food security in many sub-Sahara African countries, as the crop grows year-round and can be harvested at times when other crops are not available. Cassava is traditional processed to gari (fermented cassava flour) at the farm for home consumption. Besides gari, cassava can also be processed to cassava cake or cassava flour, which can be used in food processing, like for un-malted grain in beer brewing, replacing maize or rice. Since cassava processing is labor-intensive, the processing can be shifted from the farm to the village and to large factories. However, cassava suffers from a large problem with post-harvest physiological deterioration (PPD) which starts 24h-48h after harvest (Reilly, 2003). This together with the wide scattering of smallholder farmers contributes to difficult sourcing and challenging logistics for industrialization.
Climate impact of food is largely determined by food choices. In the scientific domain the knowledge base of climate impact of food production is still rapidly growing. Based on those insights recommendations for sustainable diets are proposed by e.g. the EAT–Lancet Commission (Willett et al., 2019). For estimating climate impacts of food products use can be made of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission factors for crops, see e.g. Clune et al. (2017) and literature cited by them. However, total GHG emissions associated to a food product should also address the post-harvest emissions and effects of food loss and waste. The Agro-Chain Greenhouse gas Emissions (ACGE) calculator (Broeze et al., 2019) can be helpful for estimating total GHG emissions associated to food that we consume.
By: Steve Sonka, Sonali Shah, Audra Wormald, and Rajshree AgarwalEd Snider Center for Enterprise and Markets: University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business Consortium for Innovation in Post-Harvest Loss & Food Waste Reduction
This report identifies ten “lessons learned” arising from the YieldWise intervention conducted in the Kenyan mango sector. These initial findings are based upon intensive qualitative interviews, held early in 2019, with stakeholders from throughout the sector. The findings emphasize the value of a more comprehensive approach when attempting to understand the contribution of development interventions. A key premise of the YieldWise effort is that effective interventions need to extend beyond technology provision to be effective in reducing post-harvest loss. The lessons learned which are described here provide strong support for that perspective.
By: Rajshree AgarwalProfessor of Entrepreneurship and Strategy at the University of Maryland Director of the Ed Snider Center for Enterprise and Markets
This blog is published on the Forbes website and it retains all rights.
Chikoos arrive in many sizes at farmers auctions in Western India, and the fruit must be separated by grade after the bidding ends. My cousin invited me to watch the process recently, and I was struck by what I saw.
Sorting machines, donated by aid organizations to boost local agriculture, sat idle while women did the job by hand.
The technology might have worked well in a different setting, like the automated tomato facility I visited a few years ago in California. But the machines seemed to provide no use in this little village.
Modern agriculture practices have increased the yield of food production; however, surplus yields often do not reach the people who are in need, due to the lack of effective supply chains and logistics. As a result, it leads to food insecurity in certain geographical areas and food loss and waste in others. A supply chain is a chain of individual stakeholders connected for the purpose of producing and distributing a product. Supply chains are incredibly complex, spanning multiple geographies and processes, which can create silos and fragmentation. In recent years, due to digitalization, stakeholders can connect with each other to create an effective supply chain.
By: Dirk Maier, Steve Sonka, Toine Timmerman, Cassie WelchDepartment of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Iowa State University, USAEd Snider Center for Enterprise and Markets, University of Maryland, USA; Wageningen Food and Biobased Research, Wageningen University and Research, The Netherlands
Food loss and waste is a global problem that negatively impacts the bottom line of businesses and farmers, wastes limited resources, and damages the environment. The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR), The Rockefeller Foundation, Iowa State University, University of Maryland, Wageningen University and Research, Volcani Center, Zamorano University, Stellenbosch University, Univeristy of São Paulo, University of Nairobi, and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology have partnered to establish the Consortium for Innovation in Post-Harvest Loss and Food Waste Reduction.