The Bellagio Statement on Postharvest Management, released 26 March 2018, is a call to action to reduce postharvest losses across sub-Saharan Africa.
It is the main outcome of a four day workshop, facilitated by Helvetas, during which twenty-two leading practitioners representing governments, research, academia, the private sector, NGOs and donors shared their experiences and developed a vision for improved postharvest management. APHLIS core team member, Dr Tanya Stathers, was one of the experts contributing to the statement.
The Bellagio Statement on Postharvest Management identifies four key areas that need greater attention if postharvest losses are to be reduced at scale:
The lack of education and awareness at both producer and consumer levels, teamed with inadequate communication on the importance of postharvest and food loss reduction, has led to a failure to integrate the topic into relevant policies and strategies. This has in turn resulted in inadequate investment in solutions that reduce food and postharvest losses.
The size and costs necessary to address the problem and the scope of needed investments are largely insufficient or unknown for PHM practices, technologies and services. This hinders the engagement of private sector actors. In addition, appropriate financial products and services tailored for boosting investments in PHM are largely absent.
There is an urgent need for improved coordination and effectiveness. Many companies, organizations and donor-assisted PHM projects are still acting in isolation instead of harnessing their comparative advantages and fostering synergies between initiatives. There is insufficient sharing and learning.
Government policies do not sufficiently address PHM. To reach greater engagement of policy makers, there is an urgent need to create more awareness among them about the scope of the challenge, and to establish and institutionalize multi-stakeholder partnerships to implement PHM strategies.
The full statement can be read here
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