BRIEFING PAPER ON HOW COLLABORATION CAN IMPROVE POST-HARVEST PROFITS WITHIN SMALLHOLDER SUPPLY CHAINS
Post-harvest inefficiencies significantly reduce the commercial viability of supply chains that source produce from smallholders, impacting on profitability for both the farmers and off-takers. Food losses are especially critical in Africa, since 80 per cent of farms in sub-Saharan Africa are run by smallholders. In some countries, these small farms contribute up to 90 per cent of the food production. Typically, both buyers and farmers view these losses as simply a “cost of doing business”. However, they often do not realise the extent of the loss or fully understand how this affects the profitability of their business.
This brief explores how market actors can overcome post-harvest inefficiencies, creating a win-win situation for everyone in the system, boosting income for smallholder farmers by decreasing food loss, ensuring more sustainable sourcing for buyers and a more efficient supply chain. The paper borrows extensively from the research and experience of the Rockefeller Foundation and its partners who, through the YieldWise programme, are pioneering scalable solutions to reduce post-harvest losses in smallholder value chains.