Reducing Postharvest Losses during Storage of Grain Crops to Strengthen Food Security in Developing Countries
Abstract, Foods, 2017
While fulfilling the food demand of an increasing population remains a major global concern, more than one-third of food is lost or wasted in postharvest operations. Reducing the postharvest losses, especially in developing countries, could be a sustainable solution to increase food availability, reduce pressure on natural resources, eliminate hunger and improve farmers’ livelihoods. Cereal grains are the basis of staple food in most of the developing nations, and account for the maximum postharvest losses on a calorific basis among all agricultural commodities. As much as 50%–60% cereal grains can be lost during the storage stage due only to the lack of technical inefficiency. Use of scientific storage methods can reduce these losses to as low as 1%–2%. This paper provides a comprehensive literature review of the grain postharvest losses in developing countries, the status and causes of storage losses and discusses the technological interventions to reduce these losses. The basics of hermetic storage, various technology options, and their effectiveness on several crops in different localities are discussed in detail.