Between harvest and consumption, which includes harvesting, transport, processing and storage, crop losses may occur, collectively referred to as postharvest losses. This can result in a reduction in the nutrient content of foods and reduced food security, particularly in areas such as sub-Saharan Africa. We currently lack information on the scale and impact of these losses in low- and middle-income countries yet reliable figures are essential for guiding targeted investments, monitoring the success of interventions and estimating food availability in food-insecure countries.
The Postharvest Storage app was developed to help fill this information gap and to gain a better understanding of farming practices related to storage. On the starting page of the app (left image below), users see a very high resolution satellite image with their locations and the already recorded storage structures. Using this image and the GPS in the phone, users of the app work with local farmers on the ground to locate a storage structure or storage site. Once located, users can then record the type of storage and technologies that the farmers use (middle image below), enter additional information about the storage (right image below) and take photographs.
Source: Postharvest Storage App
Once the users have filled out the information about a storage structure, the recorded information and pictures are stored locally on the phone. Users can then upload the data at any time once an internet connection is available. The recorded storage structures are then displayed on the satellite imagery. It is also possible to download satellite imagery and street level photographs onto the phone (when connected to wifi), which are then available offline so that users can navigate in remote areas where no internet connection is available.
The Postharvest Storage app has been developed as part of the African Postharvest Losses Information System Plus (APHLIS+) project, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The Postharvest Storage app is currently being piloted in Rwanda with people on the ground.
Last edited: 09 June 2021
Program Director and Principal Research Scholar Strategic Initiatives Program
Principal Research Scholar Novel Data Ecosystems for Sustainability Research Group - Advancing Systems Analysis Program
Research Scholar Novel Data Ecosystems for Sustainability Research Group - Advancing Systems Analysis Program
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
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