This secondary data analysis was conducted to assess post-harvest losses and handling practices. The postharvest section of the Living Standard Measurement Survey (LSMS) data set of the Ethiopian Rural Socio-economic Survey (ERSS) was used as a data source. The analysis result showed losses of 153.29 kg of cereal crops (7.7% households), 120.16 kg of pulses (5.5% households), 320 kg of oilseeds (4.1% households), 102.19 kg of fruit crops (11% households), 181.86 kg of vegetable (8.2% households), 105.56 kg of root crops (5% households), and 556.13 kg of cash crops (8.2% households). Higher number of households (30%) lost 30% of fruits, 10% of vegetables (21.62% household), 50 and 60% of root and cash crops (26.5% households), respectively. The major cause for cereals and oilseeds loss was rodents/pests, others for pulses and diseases for the perishable crops. Additionally, 84% of the households stored cereal, 63.9% pulses, 80.9% oilseeds, 7.6% fruits, 16.6% vegetables, 25.7% roots and 29% cash crops. The main storage method of durable crops was bags in house and sacks for perishable crops. Furthermore, 91% of the households protected cereal crops, 59.97% pulses, 74.8% oilseeds, 78.4% fruits, 81.7% vegetables, 71% roots and 78.5% cash crops. The major technique used for protection of cereal, pulse, vegetable and cash crops was elevation, while other techniques were used for fruits and root crops. About 50.4% of households did not protect oilseeds. Postharvest losses varied among crop types and handling practices. Reduction of losses could contribute to food and nutritional security; hence attention should be given towards improving postharvest handling practices.
Key words: Durable crops, perishable crops, postharvest losses, handling practices, food security.
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