A farm worker storing harvested maize in a silo in Nhamuka village, Mozambique.
Photo: FAO/P. Thekiso


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In the 1980s and ’90s post-harvest protection featured prominently in international cooperation, but subsequently the emphasis placed on it diminished. The debate on rising food prices and the use of limited resources has placed it high on the political agenda again. But have the priorities remained unchanged in the intervening years? Can the lessons learnt still be used, or do we need to start again from scratch? Our contributors report on the practical experience of German development cooperation.

Food shortages, food price rises and the impacts of climate change on agricultural production are once again topical issues. In consequence, policy-makers, researchers and the private sector are turning their attention to the promotion of agriculture in developing countries. In 2009 the G8 countries launched the L’Aquila Food Security Initiative (AFSI), under which they pledged to provide 22 billion US dollars between 2010 and 2012 for measures that would help to permanently resolve the food crisis. The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, promised that during this period Germany would contribute three billion dollars for rural development and food security. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has set out its targets for the promotion of rural development and food security in a ten-point programme. Among other issues, the programme explicitly refers to “improving post-harvest protection”.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that around 30 per cent of the food harvested worldwide is lost or wasted.

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