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Review: Food loss and waste in Sub-Saharan Africa

Megan Sheahan and Christopher Barrett ()

Food Policy, 2017, vol. 70, issue C, 1-12

Abstract: The research, development practitioner, and donor community has begun to focus on food loss and waste – often referred to as post-harvest losses (PHL) – in Sub-Saharan Africa. This article reviews the current state of the literature on PHL mitigation. First, we identify explicitly the varied objectives underlying efforts to reduce PHL levels. Second, we summarize the estimated magnitudes of losses, evaluate the methodologies used to generate those estimates, and explore the dearth of thoughtful assessment around “optimal” PHL levels. Third, we synthesize and critique the impact evaluation literature around on-farm and off-farm interventions expected to deliver PHL reduction. Fourth, we suggest a suite of other approaches to advancing these same objectives, some of which may prove more cost-effective. Finally, we conclude with a summary of main points.

Keywords: Post-harvest losses; Food loss; Food waste; Sub-Saharan Africa; Review (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 O19 O20 Q18 Q19 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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