Post-harvest management

Significant volumes of grain in developing countries are lost after harvest. Strategies and technologies to avoid such losses do exist: Granaries, barrels, clay containers, plastic bags and metal silos all fulfill the same purpose. One prominent example is the POSTCOSECHA program in Central America, carried out by SDC between 1983 and 2003. The main technology element of the program are locally produced metal silos, where grain is stored and protected. The silos are produced and disseminated via existing institutions and market mechanisms. Today, SDC is spreading post-harvest technology in Africa. SDC builds this new post-harvest management effort on its experience with the POSTCOSECHA program in Central America, that was mainly focusing on metal silos. But it does also consider other storage solutions, depending on local conditions and needs encountered.
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The SDC POSTCOSECHA Programme in Central America was a success ...

  • 336'000 tons of grain saved (mainly maize)
  • 100'000'000 US $ additional income for farmers
  • 12'000'000 US $ profit by 900 tinsmiths producing metal silos
  • POSTCOSECHA keeps flourishing after end of programme

... now post-harvest technology is implemented on the African continent as well.

In Sub-Saharan Africa small-scale farmers loose up to 25% of their grain due to post-harvest pests. Various new SDC projects focus on the reduction of such post-harvest losses in order to improve food security of farmers. Technical solutions like metal silos and cheaper storage technologies will be combined with awareness-raising efforts on various levels.