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How big are post-harvest losses in Ethiopia? Evidence from teff


  • Minten, Bart
  • Engida, Ermias
  • Tamru, Seneshaw


Based on a unique large-scale data set on teff production and marketing, Ethiopia’s most important cash crop, we study post-harvest losses in rural-urban value chains, specifically between producers and urban retailers in the capital, Addis Ababa. We analyze the structure of the value chain and rely on self-reported losses by different value chain agents (farmers, wholesale traders, and retailers). We estimate that post-harvest losses in the most prevalent pathway in the rural-urban value chain, amount to between 2.2 and 3.3 percent of total harvested quantities. The variation in this figure depends on the storage facilities used and on assumed losses during transport at the farm. These losses are significantly lower than is commonly assumed for staple foods, possibly because of the rather good storage characteristics of teff due to its low moisture content. These findings, nonetheless, point to the need to gather further solid evidence on post-harvest losses in staple foods in these settings to ensure appropriate policies and investments

Suggested Citation

  • Minten, Bart & Engida, Ermias & Tamru, Seneshaw, 2016. "How big are post-harvest losses in Ethiopia? Evidence from teff," ESSP working papers 93, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:esspwp:93

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kaminski, Jonathan & Christiaensen, Luc, 2014. "Post-harvest loss in Sub-Saharan Africa -- what do farmers say ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6831, The World Bank.
    2. Fafchamps, Marcel & Gabre-Madhin, Eleni & Minten, Bart, 2005. "Increasing returns and market efficiency in agricultural trade," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 406-442, December.
    3. repec:eme:jadepp:jadee-02-2015-0009 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Dawe, David C. & Moya, Piedad F. & Casiwan, Cheryll B. & Cabling, Jesusa M., 2008. "Rice marketing systems in the Philippines and Thailand: Do large numbers of competitive traders ensure good performance?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 455-463, October.
    5. Buzby, Jean C. & Hyman, Jeffrey, 2012. "Total and per capita value of food loss in the United States," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 561-570.
    6. Mittal, Surabhi, 2007. "Strengthening Backward and Forward Linkages in Horticulture: Some Successful Initiatives," Agricultural Economics Research Review, Agricultural Economics Research Association (India), vol. 20(2007).
    7. Hayami, Y. & Kikuchi, M. & Marciano, E. B., 1999. "Middlemen and peasants in rice marketing in the Philippines," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 20(2), pages 79-93, March.
    8. Affognon, Hippolyte & Mutungi, Christopher & Sanginga, Pascal & Borgemeister, Christian, 2015. "Unpacking Postharvest Losses in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Meta-Analysis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 49-68.
    9. Minten, Bart & Reardon, Thomas & Singh, K.M. & Sutradhar, Rajib, 2012. "The New and Changing Roles of Cold Storages in the Potato Supply Chain in Bihar," MPRA Paper 61109, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 14 Sep 2014.
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    More about this item


    ETHIOPIA; EAST AFRICA; AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA; AFRICA; teff; food storage; postharvest losses; value chains;

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