GAIN Working Paper Series 9 - Creating alliances and fostering innovations to reduce post-harvest loss of nutritious food

Many of the most nutritious foods are perishable and at risk of being lost or wasted along the supply chain, which can reduce consumers’ access to nutritious foods or increase prices. Such losses can be considerable, and most occur during postharvest processes such as handling, storage, and transportation.

In 2015, GAIN, with the support of USAID, created the Postharvest Loss Alliance for Nutrition (PLAN) to bring together public- and private-sector stakeholders to collectively reduce loss and wasting of nutritious foods. Based on an external assessment, this working paper summarises PLAN’s work in Nigeria (N-PLAN) and Indonesia (I-PLAN), impacts to date, and key learnings. Each PLAN focuses on one nutritious food and on specific areas along its supply chains, aiming to bring the right stakeholders together to improve coordination, to build their capacity, to encourage the adoption of improved practices and technologies, and to foster the development of new technologies.

The assessment indicated that PLAN has helped create influential networks, allowing diverse stakeholders to work together to address common issues related to post-harvest loss. The assessment also found that PLAN fostered inter-ministerial collaboration, that PLAN training and financing were well received and likely led to loss reduction, and that the programme surfaced new innovations. N-PLAN helped lead to the adoption of a government budget line for PHL, and members formed a new organisation to continue PLAN’s objectives long after the project’s end. However, PLAN also faced challenges related to catalysing financing, ensuring local relevance, and (in Indonesia) fostering sustainability.