Postharvest Management in Sub-Saharan Africa

Helvetas coordinates and provides technical support to a regional program on Postharvest Management in Sub-Saharan Africa. It is a mandate we received from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation's Global Programme for Food Security (GPFS).

  • Project Name
    SDC GPFS Postharvest in SSA
  • Project Phase
    2017 to 2020
  • Funding
    This is an SDC mandate
  • Thematic focus
    Sustainable and Inclusive Economies

The work of Helvetas rests on strong and long-standing experience in the field of sustainable agriculture, food security, value chain development, local markets, postharvest management and rural advisory services. In the framework of the Postharvest Management Project in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) we carry out the following specific functions:

  • Manage and supervise the project, ensure monitoring, reporting and coordination with national and regional implementing partners (FANRPAN, AFAAS, Agridea) as well as with the GPFS umbrella program.
  • Provide technical expertise and advice to project team with regard to postharvest management, storage technologies, food security and value chain analysis.
  • Bring in know-how on innovative Rural Advisory Services (RAS) and methodologies to promote postharvest management among different target groups in SSA.
  • Facilitate the transfer of existing know-how from international experiences in Postharvest Management to the project (e.g. Postcosecha in Central America or SAAN project in Mozambique).
  • Ensure broad sharing of knowledge developed in the context of this project through active participation in events, communities of practices and through documentation.

The project aims to increase food security of smallholder farmers in Sub-
Saharan Africa through reduced postharvest losses at farm and community
level, by applying a two-pronged strategy:

a) Post harvest management and storage of grains and pulses to ensuring food supply in households and communities; and

b) Post harvest management as a commercial activity for income generation through improved market access.

© Helvetas/Stephane Brabant
pineapple harvesting, Benin © Helvetas/Stephane Brabant
© Helvetas/Flurina Rothenberger
urban farmer Ulriche Hontonnou, Benin. © Helvetas/Flurina Rothenberger

The project intervenes at three levels:

  • Based on the analysis of major constrains related to markets and storage strategies of grains and pulses, promising post harvest management practices and systems are assessed, validated and further developed through participative evaluation in selected rural households;
  • The successfully tested practices are documented, appropriate dissemination tools and methodologies developed, and capacities built at different levels (farmers, producer organizations, RAS, NGOs, local and national governments);
  • Based on the evidence gained from the validation of post harvest management systems, advocacy and policy dialogues are conducted through multi stakeholder platforms at the local, national and regional level with the aim of strengthening these aspects in policies and regulatory frameworks.

The focus of the first project phase (April 2013 – March 2017) is on the
validation and dissemination of post harvest management practices in pilot
countries of two sub-regions, Benin (Western Africa) and Mozambique
(Southern Africa). Based on the experience of the first phase and through
regional multipliers, sensitization and dissemination will be conducted at a
broad scale in the two pilot countries (scaling up) and at a regional level in
other selected countries of the sub-regions (scaling out) in the second phase

Further information

Our quarterly newsletter “Highlights"

For development practitioners and anyone interested in our projects and approaches.

© Helvetas / Narendra Shrestha

Sustainable & Inclusive Economies

Economic growth does not always benefit the poor and poverty is bad for growth. We need to make a proactive effort to break this vicious cycle.

How Helvetas Supports People in Benin

Helvetas focuses its efforts in Benin on education and occupational integration and on the supply of clean drinking water.

Our Advisory Services

Meet and contact Helvetas’ multi-disciplinary team of development experts advising the private sector, civil society and other organizations.

Our Impact

As a learning organization we assess the impact of our interventions to improve our work and to ensure accountability vis-a-vis our donors and partners.