Postharvest Management in Sub-Saharan Africa

Project completed

In Africa, the value of annual postharvest losses for cereals is estimated at 4 billion US$. In Sub-Saharan Africa losses reach up to 40% of the harvested crop. This project promotes simple technologies (metal silos, improved traditional silos, hermetic bags a.o.) to increase food security and nutrition among smallholder farm families. An estimated 10’000 families benefit directly in two focus countries (Benin, Mozambique). The knowledge gained serves to market postharvest storage options in several other Sub-Saharan countries.

Country/region Period Budget
01.04.2017 - 31.03.2020
CHF  2’000’000

For most countries in Africa, in particular for low income food deficit countries, losses of grains and other food crops after harvest remain high and a significant cause of food insecurity. An  FAO study estimated in 2011 the losses between 120 – 170 kg per capita and year, posing a heavy burden to many rural households. Reducing postharvest losses does not only reduce food insecurity but makes food production for human consumption economically and ecologically more efficient. If food insecure African countries are to overcome hunger and poverty, reducing postharvest losses will be inevitable.


Increased food security and nutrition of smallholder farmers, men and women alike, in Sub-Saharan Africa (particularly in Benin and Mozambique) by reducing postharvest losses of grains and other staple crops at farm and community level.

Target groups

Main target group for outcome 1 (focus countries Benin & Mozambique ):

  • 10’000 rural households directly adopting and benefitting from new PHM practices and systems, whereof 30% women-headed households
  • 50’000 additional rural households indirectly benefitting from awareness and capacity building & improved regulatory frameworks

Main target group for outcomes 2 and 3 (change agents for PHM in focus countries and other SSA countries): local farmer organizations, women’s groups, RAS agents, private sector actors, NGO and government staff, and policy makers

Medium-term outcomes
  • Approx. 10’000 smallholder farm families benefit directly from improved handling and storage options within the grains and pulses value chains.
  • Good practice options for reducing postharvest losses are compiled, disseminated and scaled up.
  • Appropriate regulatory frameworks on reducing post-harvest losses in food supply chains are introduced and implemented at national and regional levels and financing is secured.

Expected results:  

Promising PHM practices and systems have been identified, validated, are further developed and have been disseminated and adopted.

Relevant actors (RAS agents, farmer org., women’s groups, private sector, government officials, and policy makers) have been capacitated on PHM practices and systems.

PHM has been included in the agendas of local, national and regional policy dialogue platforms and frameworks for food standards and norms have integrated PHM aspects.

Results from previous phases:  

  • Different technical storage options (metal silos, improved traditional clay silos, hermetic bacs, storage warehouses) are tested on farms and in communities in Benin and Mozambique, testing is ongoing
  • A considerable number of PHM related facts sheets, manuals and policy papers have been produced and disseminated Africa-wide, including on the FAO community of practice website
  • In Mozambique, project assisted the government in establishing a national PHL reduction strategy; as a result of the dialogue of the project FAO has received a number of requests from governments to establish national PHL reduction strategies

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner

Implementing partner
Multiple Local Partners

Coordination with other projects and actors
  • The other two GPFS PHM project:
    a) FAO/IFAD/WFP (with pilot activities in Uganda, Burkina Faso, DRC)
    b) FAO-Ethiopia
  • Implementers of other SDC financed PHM project: GLPL Tanzania of SONAP
  • Other SDC financed rural development projects in Benin and Mozambique (f.e. PASDER-Benin)
  • Other SDC strategic partners: African Union (Malabo Declaration)
  • SDC’s A+FS network & sub-group on PHM
  • Other postharvest projects of governments or non-SDC partners
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    2’000’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    1’200’000
Project phases

Phase 2 01.04.2017 - 31.03.2020   (Completed)

Phase 1 01.09.2012 - 31.03.2017   (Completed)