Advertisement

Solving Third World Food Problems: The Role of Post-Harvest Planning

  • Martin Greeley
Part of the Nato Advanced Study Institutes Series book series (NSSA, volume 46)

Abstract

There is a substantial body of literature which argues that developing countries’ food shortages can be reduced, even removed, by preventing post-harvest food losses. It has spawned major research and development and extension initiatives, often funded through aid, that seek to improve farm-level post-harvest systems. Attention has focused on the major cereal staples which are the subject of this paper. Section I examines why the role of post-harvest planning has been characterized in this way. Section II challenges the conventional assertion of high farm-level food losses using evidence from recent field studies. Section III provides a reassessment of the opportunities for and consequences of farm-level post-harvest technical change.

Keywords

Technical Change Food Loss Rural Poor Loss Prevention Storage Loss 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    K.D. White, “Roman Farming,” Thames Hudson (1970), pp. 196–97.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    “Reducing Post-Harvest Food Losses in Developing Countries,” FAO (1975), pp. 2–4 and Appendix II. The Tropical Products Institute, London, is one of the few other organizations that has been regularly active in loss prevention programmes.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    M.C. Bourne “Post-Harvest Food Losses — The Neglected Dimension in Increasing the World Food Supply,” Cornell International Agriculture Mimeograph (1977), pp. 2–3.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Examples are numerous since they preface most papers on the subject and a short list of examples from government, voluntary agencies, international donors and private companies is given on pp. 4–5, “Rural Technology, Rural Institutions and The Rural Poorest: The case of rice processing in Bangladesh,” (Martin Greeley 1981).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    James Boulware, USDA attache in New Delhi drew attention to this anomaly of Indian reports, cited in Lester Brown, “Seeds of Change,” Pall Mall London (1970).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    These are figures originally published internationally in “Rice Post-Harvest Problems in Southeast Asia,” International Food Technologists Meeting, Philadelphia, June 1977, and elsewhere they are cited as IRRI and FAO figures. They give total maximum losses of 31.43%, but several papers, e.g. H.A. Parpia, More than Food Would be Saved, Ceres, December 1977 report 37% losses because they fail to take account of reductions in the quantity available due to loss at earlier stages.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    For example, Final Report of the Expert Committee on Storage Losses of Foodgrains During Post-Harvest Handling, Government of India (1971), unpublished.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    See M. Sriramalu, Studies on the Varietal Resistance of Paddy to Lesser Grain Borer, Rhizopertha Dominica (Fab.), MSc. Thesis, Dept. of Entomology, Agricultural College, Bapatla, 1973 (unpub.); S. Srinivasan, Studies on Degree of Infestation by Rice Weevil Sitophilus Oryzae L. in Different Varieties of Paddy and Rice, MSc Thesis, Dept. of Entomology Agricultural College, Bapatla, 1972 (unpub). Both demonstrate the need for plant breeders to take account of resistance to store insect pests by showing how some modern thin-husked rice varieties are more susceptible to the rice weevil (Sitophilus Oryzae L.) and the lesser grain borer (Rhizopertha Dominica (Fab.)). This is supported by field observations of the effects of this factor on the timing of sales of, e.g. RP4–14, by paddy cultivators in West Godavari, A.P. Though see also, “Resistance to Storage Insects in Wheat Grain,” IARI Research Bulletin No. 28 (1980).Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    K. S. Gill, “Wheat market behaviour: emerging problems of wheat marketing in Punjab and Haryana post-harvest period,” Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana (undated).Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    For example, “Commodity Storage Conditions in Bangladesh,” a staff report to the Subcommittee on Foreign Assistance of the Committee on Foreign Relations United States Senate, (1976).Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    For example, “Protecting the World’s Crops,11 Shell Briefing Service (1977).Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    For example, Robert Satake, “Status of the Rice Milling Sector,” AMA DC, No. 2, Spring 1979.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    For example The Comilla Co-operative Karkhana Ltd., Ranirbazar, Comilla, Bangladesh manufacturing pedal and mechanical threshers.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    ‘Appropriate1 is really shorthand here for low-cost, simple to use, local skill and raw material intensive techniques. A good example of the approach is “Small Farm Grain Storage,” Appropriate Technologies for Development, Volunteers in Technical Assistance, Vita (1976).Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    India has been very active both in research with the Indian Grain Storage Institute and the All India Co-ordinated Post-Harvest Technology Scheme and in extension with the Save Grain Campaign. In Africa, Zambia, Kenya and Swaziland all developed extension programmes quite early on and in Nigeria the West African Stored Products Research Unit has made important contributions to research from an early date.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Of special importance was the preparation of K.L. Harris and C.J. Lindblad, “Postharvest Grain Loss Assessment Methods,” USAID. (1978).Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    For example, Cost-Benefit Analysis of Crop Storage Improvements: A South Indian Pilot Study, IDS Discussion Paper No. 56, University of Sussex (1974), by M. Lipton.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    S.K. Majumdar and H.A.P. Parpia, Possible Losses of Foodgrains in India, 1966 reprint from Vijnan Karmee — The Journal of the Association of Scientific Workers in India, Vol. 18, No. 4.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Bourne, op. cit. pp. 17–18.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    A.M.A. Karim and H. Rashid, Extent of Loss of Boro Paddy during Post-harvest Operation: A Study Conducted in Bahadurpur Village of Mymensingh District, Agri-Varsity Extension Project, Bangladesh Agricultural University, Publication No. 10. (1979).Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    H. Guggenheim, Who is the Loser in Post-Harvest Losses? TheWunderman Foundation, (undated)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    T.W. Schultz, “Transforming Traditional Agriculture,” New Haven, Yale UP (1964).Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Appropriate Rural Technology: Recent Indian Experience with farm-level Foodgrain Storage Research, Martin Greeley, Food Policy, (February 1978).Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    The Technical and Economic Characteristics of Rice Post-produc- tion systems in the Bicol River Basin, Bicol River Basin Development Program (1978).Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    “Postharvest Food Losses in Developing Countries,” National Academy of Sciences, Washington (1978).Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Most recently presented in South, No. 3 Dec. 1980, p. 27.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    A. K. Fazlul Huq, Rice in Bangladesh: Estimation of Food Losses in Farm-level Storage at a Workshop sponsored by the Food Science and Technology Division, Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Dacca December 1980. p. 12–13Google Scholar
  28. 27a.
    A. K. Fazlul Huq, Post-harvest Food Losses in Developing Countries, Development Digest Vol VIII No. 4 Oct 1980, p. 107Google Scholar
  29. 27b.
    W.D. Rolston, The Post-Harvest Food Grain System in East Africa (A Kenyan Case Study), International Development Research Centre, Edmonton (1975), p. 10Google Scholar
  30. 27c.
    W.D. Rolston, The Post-Harvest Food Grains System in West Africa (A Senegalese Cast Study), IDRC, Edmonton (1975), pp 11–14Google Scholar
  31. 27d.
    Mexico, the Post-Harvest Maize System in Two Pider Micro-Regions, The World Bank Rural Development Division, (1978), p. 14 and Appendix 3; Appropriate Technology for Grain Storage, Report of a Pilot Project, Community Development Trust Fund of Tanzania (1977), Section 2.Google Scholar
  32. 28.
    K. Krishnamurthy, Save Grain Campaign — Objectives and Plan of Work, Post-Harvest Technology Workshop, New Delhi, Jan 1981.Google Scholar
  33. 29.
    M. Greeley and S. Rahman, Wet Season Post-Harvest Food Losses, Paper Presented at the Post-Production Workshop on Food Grains, December 1980.Google Scholar
  34. 30.
    Danida Drying Project in Comilla, Project Report 1974. 31. R.H.B. Exell, Basic Design Theory for a Simple Solar Rice Dryer, Renewable Energy Review Journal, Vol 1. No. 2, Jan. 1980.Google Scholar
  35. 32.
    Rice Post Harvest Technology Project, 1978 and 1979, Report, TPI/BRRI, Dacca Bangladesh (1980).Google Scholar
  36. 33.
    S. Begum and M. Greeley, Women, Employment and Agriculture: Notes from a Bangladesh Case Study, IDS, University of Sussex (1980).Google Scholar
  37. 34.
    G.D. Wood, How the Interests of the Rural Poor Can be Included in the Second Five-Year Plan, Dacca (1980).Google Scholar
  38. 35.
    Through the Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development, Comilla.Google Scholar
  39. 36.
    K.S. Gill, Post-Harvest Market Technology for Cereals (Paddy and Wheat) — Needed Improvements (The Punjab Case), paper presented at Rural Technology, Rural Institutions, and the Rural Poorest, Comilla, Bangladesh, Feb. 1981.Google Scholar
  40. 37.
    D.J.B. Calverley, P.R. Street, T.J. Cree, D.A.V. Dendy, Post- Harvest Losses of Rice in Malaysia, Conference on Food and Agriculture, Malaysia 2000 (undated).Google Scholar
  41. 38.
    M. Lipton, Post-Harvest Technology in the Context of the Reduc- tion of Hunger, Workshop on Farm-Level Post-Harvest Technology for Prevention of Food Losses, New Delhi, Jan. 1981.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Greeley
    • 1
  1. 1.Research Fellow, Institute of Development StudiesUniversity of SussexBrighton, SussexUK

Personalised recommendations