NRI launches its Postharvest Loss Reduction Centre

5th Aug 2014

The Natural Resources Institute’s new 'Postharvest Loss Reduction Centre' is helping to sustain the world's food supply, reduce our carbon footprint and make our world a greener place. It is doing this by promoting action to reduce losses and waste within food supply chains, both locally and internationally, to increase food availability and give consumers access to safer and better quality food. The main point of contact with the Centre is through a dedicated website (www.postharvest.nri.org) that gives access to information about NRI's postharvest teams.

NRI has been working to reduce losses and waste after harvest since the 1970s food crisis and this experience has endowed its postharvest teams with significant technical insight and capability. However, declining food prices in the 1990s diverted attention from this important topic. Since the new food crisis of 2006, NRI has made significant contributions to the loss reduction debate including the World Bank's report 'Missing Food', the UK's Foresight Review of Food and Farming Futures, and the recent development of the African Postharvest Losses Information System (APHLIS), a thematic network of local postharvest experts that provides loss data on cereal grains to drive agricultural policy making, cereal supply estimation and loss reduction programmes in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The new Centre provides intellectual underpinning for the assessment and reduction of losses and waste. It will ensure that interventions are carefully targeted with special emphasises on the need for value chain analysis to define the incentives required for the adoption of loss and waste reduction measures and the importance of social and cultural factors in the adoption of new approaches. At the same time it offers unrivalled knowledge and skills in appropriate technologies for grain, fruit and vegetables, roots and tubers, and fisheries – as well as cross-cutting skills in food safety, food quality, storage and processing, and economics.

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