The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that around 31% of the food produced in the world is lost or wasted without being eaten. The world has grown more conscious of this startling statistic in the past decade, exemplified by its inclusion in the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Goal 12.3 is to halve global food loss and waste by 2030. 

In this context, the UN World Food Programme’s Regional Centre of Excellence against Hunger and Malnutrition (CERFAM), in collaboration with a workshop team from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), has sought to examine and analyze good practices that governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), foundations, and other concerned actors can implement to address post-harvest loss (PHL) in Sub-Saharan Africa. With these good practices, the SIPA team’s report looks to influence ongoing PHL projects to achieve more effective strategic planning, design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation.

The report evaluates three key agricultural value chains in Sub-Saharan Africa: (1) cereals and grains, (2) fruits and vegetables, and (3) animal agriculture.  For each, the report discusses the structure of the value chain as well as where the majority of loss occurs. It then summarizes various interventions that have proven to be successful in addressing loss in that value chain, and evaluates them in terms of their effectiveness, efficiency, feasibility, and replicability. The report closes with some final, overarching considerations for the implementation of PHL reduction programs.