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GRATITUDE - Gains from Losses of Root and Tuber Crops

Institutions
University of Greenwich
Start date
2012
End date
2014
Objective
Cassava and yam are important food security crops for approximately 700 million people. Post-harvest losses are significant and come in the three forms: (a) physical; (b) economic through discounting or processing into low value products and (c) from bio-wastes. This project aims to reduce these losses to enhance the role that these crops play in food and income security.

Post-harvest physical losses are exceptionally high (ca. 30% in cassava and 60% in yam) and occur throughout the food chain. Losses in economic value are also high (e.g. cassava prices discounted by up to 85% within a couple of days of harvest). Wastes come in various forms e.g. peeling losses can be 15-20%. Waste often has no economic value which can make processing a marginal business proposition.

South-south learning is a feature of the project with partners in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Cassava and yam are contrasting in terms of their use and these differences will contribute to developing a comprehensive approach to reducing losses. Technologies and systems will be developed, validated, demonstrated and disseminated that focus benefits on small-holder households whilst offering increased income earning opportunities through SME development and links to large scale industry. These contribute to the comprehensiveness of the approach, and provide diverse learning opportunities and allow examination of losses in a wider food security context.

There are 3 impact pathways:
1. reduction of physical losses focussing on fresh yams storage.
2. value added processing reducing physical and economic losses in yam and cassava.
3. improved utilisation of wastes (peels, liquid waste, spent brewery waste) producing products for human consumption including snack foods, mushrooms and animal feed.

Cross-cutting are issues of food safety, enterprise development and practical demonstration. It is aimed to validate technologies capable of reducing losses by an equivalent of at least 50%.

More information
Project under FP7-KBBE.
Funding Source
European Commission
Project source
View this project
Project number
289843
Categories
Bacterial Pathogens
Natural Toxins
Food Defense and Integrity
Commodities
Produce