The extent of groundnut post-harvest loss in Africa and its implications for food and nutrition security

Habtamu Gebremichael Daba, Mulugeta Admasu Delele, Solomon Workneh Fanta, Neela Satheesh
Journal of Agriculture and Food Research
Resource type:
Peer review

Reducing post-harvest loss conserves resources such as natural, human, and financial inputs that help reduce poverty, raise household incomes, and improve rural livelihoods. The plant-based protein, higher unsaturated fat content, and higher fiber value of groundnuts make them preferable for nutrition enhancement. Groundnut is also well known for its environmental significance, as it reduces the use of chemical fertilizer by fixing nitrogen from the air and enriching soil fertility. However, there are few published scientific reports on groundnut post-harvest loss assessment in African countries. Moreover, published studies of groundnut post-harvest loss focused primarily on biodeterioration during storage. Hence, this review aimed to assess the underlying causes, extent of post-harvest quality and quantity loss of groundnut in the supply chain, and post-harvest loss mitigating technologies in Africa and their implications for food and nutrition security.

This review found that the higher drudgery required in the groundnut supply chain is a limiting factor for smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan African countries. Groundnut qualitative and quantitative post-harvest loss is higher during groundnut pod stripping and shelling and also during on-farm and warehouse storage of groundnut in the supply chain. Post-harvest losses of groundnut in African countries extend from 8.9% (Ghana) to 31% (Uganda). Higher-quality groundnut producers do not receive a higher market price as traders and processing factories do not test for aflatoxin content during purchase, which lets producers not follow labor- and cost-demanding good agricultural practices. In conclusion, adopting and providing improved groundnut varieties, aflatoxin control mechanisms, and post-harvest technologies of higher efficiency, lower cost, and local availability should be carried out. In addition, public awareness of aflatoxin toxicity and mitigation measures should be widely disseminated.

Photo Credit: Pixabay via Pexels
This resource has been peer reviewed