Food Security

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 389–404 | Cite as

A review of postharvest handling and losses in the fresh tomato supply chain: a focus on Sub-Saharan Africa

  • M. S. SibomanaEmail author
  • T. S. Workneh
  • K. Audain


The mitigation of postharvest losses in the Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) tomato industry has the potential to improve profit margins, livelihoods and food security. This review focuses on the current status of postharvest handling of tomatoes in SSA. Recent peer-reviewed, industry, government and non-governmental organisations’ documents were consulted. Descriptive and quantitative approaches were used to present the information from the literature. Postharvest losses in the fresh tomato supply chain in SSA occur predominantly at the pre-consumer level, in contrast to similar supply chains in developed countries. Overall, recent estimations of losses in fresh market tomatoes were similar across SSA; 9.5 % in East Africa, 9.8 % in Central and Southern Africa, and 10.04 % in West Africa. Examples of individual countries showed estimated losses of 10.1 % in Kenya, 10.2 % in South Africa and 13.4 % in Nigeria representing multi-million dollar losses from these supply chains. Inadequate monitoring and quantifying of losses was noted in SSA. This document identifies postharvest challenges and presents possible interventions and opportunities for both large and small-scale producers. Overall, the implementation of any solutions in the SSA tomato supply chains will have to account for the specific contexts of each chain and level of production.


Postharvest losses Tomatoes Packaging Temperature control Disinfection Transportation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht and International Society for Plant Pathology 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EngineeringUniversity of KwaZulu-NatalPietermaritzburgSouth Africa

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