The African Postharvest Losses Information System (APHLIS) is the leading international effort to collect, analyze and disseminate data on postharvest losses in sub-Saharan Africa. This provides researchers, practitioners and policy-makers with a valuable overview of postharvest losses using a cost-efficient, open-source system that enables them to focus on crops, areas and activities where interventions will have the most impact.
APHLIS develops postharvest loss profiles thatquantify expected losses – by percentage of production – at each point along the postharvest chain.Loss profiles, which draw on academic research – are enriched with information on local conditions and practices that may affect losses on a seasonal or annual basis, such as weather, pest incidence, and length of on-farm storage. APHLIS network members collect this data from official sources and conduct interviews with farmers and extension workers. APHLIS estimates losses at the provincial and national levels. This information would be prohibitively expensive to obtain through direct observation and measurement.
APHLIS is currently expanding the range of crops covered by the system from its traditional focus on cereals to include pulses, roots and tubers, and banana and plantain. We will soon be able to issue assessments of the nutritional and economic impacts of postharvest losses. We are adopting better modelling approaches and expanding our network of experts. As a result, we are in an excellent position to provide decision-makers in African countries with the data they need to meet their postharvest loss policy commitments.