university of illinois at urbana-champaign

ADMI Presents Early Learnings of Study to Partners of Global Postharvest Loss Initiative

May 2014

View the full Early Learnings Report (PDF)
View the report slides (PDF)

On-farm losses of maize on a small plot near Hubli, India. Credit: ADMI/G.Kenney

In early 2014, the ADM Institute for the Prevention of Postharvest Loss (ADMI) received a grant of $500,000 from the Rockefeller Foundation to conduct a study in support of an international, multi-institutional initiative, called the Waste and Spoilage in the Food Chain Development Initiative. The goal of this study, the Global Learning Assessment, is to identify successful findings in global postharvest loss, scaling promising solutions, and promoting small holders in the adoption of postharvest loss prevention technologies and practices. In April 2014, Principal Investigator, Steve Sonka, presented the Early Learnings Report at a partner meeting in Nairobi, Kenya.

The Global Learning Assessment is focused on addressing a key question to postharvest loss prevention efforts – given that proven technologies and practices to reduce postharvest loss exist, why don’t farmers around the world employ them? As described in the Early Learning Report, the assessment’s investigators find that for postharvest loss, the process of how an intervention is conducted appears to be as important to look at as the chosen intervention itself.

Sharing Findings and Insights

The Early Learnings report proposes a set of ‘key action concepts’ on process factors which shape the impact of future postharvest loss interventions. Based on insights of ADMI staff assimilated from prior work to enhance agricultural systems and reduce postharvest loss, the report is grouped into five areas – insights from innovation, systems perspectives, technology services, measurement, and economics.

At the stakeholders meeting, Sonka also presented the meeting’s kickoff presentation on “Global Perspective on Post-Harvest Technologies by Smallholder Farmers: Defining the Problem, Developing Solutions.

Next Steps  

The Early Learning Report, the first of three installations that will be produced for the Global Learnings Assessment, are intended to provoke dialogue and debate as much as to provide answers. Questions and comments are welcomed, and can be sent to Steve Sonka at

The second installment of the Global Learning Assessment will be available in July 2014. For more information about ADMI’s involvement with the Waste and Spoilage in the Food Chain Development, view the annual report.

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Mountain of grain 2 people working in rice field