Preventing losses along the postharvest value chain

Harvesting

Preharvest Field

What is harvesting? Harvesting is the process of removing the crop from the fields. Smallholder farmers often harvest manually, using hand tools, including sickles, knives, scythes or cutters. Mechanized technologies exist that reduce harvest losses while conserving labor. Mechanical reapers  have been developed for use on small plots and mini..Read More

Threshing

Women Threshing

What is threshing? For most grains, threshing is the second stage in the supply chain. The threshing process separates the grain from the rest of the plant. Usually this is completed by rubbing, stripping, or beating the plant. A combine harvester includes threshing capacities so that when a combine is..Read More

Drying

Drying

What is drying? The grain moisture content that avoids breakage at harvest and threshing may be too high for effective storage or milling.  Drying is usually necessary before cereals can be safely stored or processed. Natural drying or sun drying is a low-cost method used widely by smallholder farmers. Mechanical..Read More

Storage

Storage Bag

What is storage? Grain storage refers to holding stocks of cereals for future use. Storage may be practiced by farmers, traders, millers or other private agents or by the public sector. Grain producers may store for future consumption, in expectation of higher sales prices in the future, or to use..Read More

Processing/Milling

Processing/Milling

What is milling? Milling or processing operations vary for different grains, but the operation involves removing some of the grain and possibly grinding the grain to make it more suitable for consumption. Milling is traditionally performed manually by women pounding the grain. Commercial mills can reduce the time and labor..Read More

Transportation

Transportation

What is transportation? Transportation occurs throughout the value chain, whenever crops are moved from one step to another – from field to processing facilities, field to storage facilities, and processing facilities to market. Transportation losses are relatively very low in developed countries. What causes postharvest loss at this stage? Lack..Read More

Marketing

Marketing

What is marketing? The final step in the value chain for smallholder farmers comes when they sell their crop, either in a market or to a trader/middleman. This is not a stage where postharvest loss occurs, but earlier quality and quantity losses impact how much of a crop a smallholder..Read More