Production and post-harvest

“Production and post-harvest” has a focus on improving food security through sustainable intensification of crop production and technologies that reduce post-harvest losses.

Crop production and post-harvest management are two important pillars that support food security within a bio-economy. They ensure a constant supply of raw materials for different bio-economy sectors, and need to provide possible solutions to food insecurity, as nearly one billion people around the world suffer from hunger especially in African countries. There is a vital need for research activities that lead to the development of more strategic guidance on how bio-economies can be promoted in African countries, and how food security can be improved in the next decades combined with a more sustainable use of natural resources (sustainable intensification) in view of increasing population pressure and limited resources. Important factors that must be taken into account are efficient use of water and fertilizers, adequate pest and disease management and, last but not least, technologies that reduce post-harvest losses (amounting to 30-50% of food production losses globally). Therefore, a strong systems perspective on crop production is required with links to resources on the one side and to consumers on the other side while supporting analyses of efficiency along the whole food supply chain, including research on the potential of changes in human diets or on the reduction of waste and food losses.

This thematic area features contributions related to:

  • Quantifying and closing the yield and biomass gaps
  • Improving resource use efficiencies
  • Targeting food and feed biomass for direct consumption

Theme coordinator: Amit Kumar Srivastava

Christine B. Schmitt And Ulrike Grote. 2008. wild Coffee Production In Ethiopia: The Role Of Coffee Certification For Forest Conservation. Berlin Conference On The Human Dimensions Of Global Environmental Change (17-18 / 11/ 2008). Berlin, Germany.

The Ethiopian rainforests are internationally renowned for their high biodiversity and their wild coffee (Coffea arabica) populations, but are severely threatened by deforestation. The remaining rainforests are used for wild coffee production. This study quantifies wild coffee yields from local management systems without artificial inputs, and analyses the impact of wild coffee management on the natural forest vegetation. Subsequently, the role of coffee certification for forest conservation is evaluated. The results show that wild coffee yields from undisturbed forest with low management intensity are extremely small. Intensive management in semi-forest coffee systems removes 30 % of the canopy trees and most undergrowth vegetation. This stimulates wild coffee growth and almost triples coffee yields, while jeopardizing forest biodiversity. Premium prices for wild coffee through certification are seen as one possibility to halt the deforestation process by adding economic value to the natural coffee forests. Particular certification criteria for wild coffee, however, do not exist yet. This study reviews currently present coffee certification schemes under, e.g., Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), Rainforest Alliance and Utz Kapeh, and explores to what extent they can promote sustainable use and conservation of the Ethiopian coffee forests.

Show details Posted by : Dr. Christine B. Schmitt