Thursday, August 15, 2013

Chinese Taipei: IRRI scientist speaks on reducing postharvest losses at APEC seminar

Alfred Schmidley, business model and value chain specialist at IRRI, was a featured speaker at the recent APEC seminar, Strengthening Public-Private Partnership to Reduce Food Losses in the Supply Chain, hosted by Chinese Taipei.

The event, held on 5–8 August 2013, was the first major output of a multi-year project by APEC that began this year to address losses from food processing and elsewhere along the supply chain. It was attended by 120 participants from the APEC Secretariat and 18 member-economies.
In his presentation titled, Advancing postharvest technologies to reduce losses in rice postharvest value chains, Mr. Schmidley spoke about how postharvest losses are aggravated by increased yields, cropping systems intensification, and other factors such as labor shortages, the absence of improved technologies, and the lack of a postharvest sector capacity to efficiently process paddy and reduce losses.

The APEC seminar highlighted the fact that 95% of agricultural research monies go toward increasing yields while only 5%, or less, is allocated to reducing postharvest losses and addressing other postharvest issues.

The seminar is part of an ongoing effort by APEC to raise awareness about food losses, find better ways to measure and assess losses among member-economies, enable private sector investment, and foster adoption of technologies that can reduce losses across farm and food-processing supply chains.

At the end of the conference, delegates agreed to establish a focal point network (FPN) and appoint cross-sector representatives from APEC member-economies. They also agreed to establish a research team to follow up on assessment methodologies, tool kits, datasets, and the need for future capacity building activities.

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