Technical Assistance strategy for post harvest losses in Malawi

Post-harvest losses and food losses in general are one of the priority topics of the international agenda, as illustrated by the Sustainable Development Goals framework and several regional initiatives.

The Malabo declaration (2014) states that Africa needs to halve its post-harvest losses by 2025. Research activities are currently being undertaken by the Global Office to provide recommendations on measurement methods for post-harvest losses. Malawi has been involved in these discussions and research activities since 2015 and has showed interest in receiving technical assistance to improve its existing measurement framework.

In this context, the Global Office organized a mission on 10-15 March 2017 in Malawi to discuss a potential program of technical assistance on the measurement of post-harvest losses with officers from the Ministry of Agriculture, the National Statistical Office and Bvumbwe Agricultural Research Station. Among the activities that were agreed upon, the provision of a data analysis tool to facilitate the compilation of post-harvest loss estimates from the existing post-harvest loss survey was identified by country officers as a priority as well as the review of the sampling design.

The Global Office will also assist Malawi in developing a strategy to provide more accurate estimates of post-harvest losses by designing questionnaires for the purpose and expanding the scope to other important commodities. These would constitute significant improvements as the current survey is only carried out every 4 years and limited to maize.