APHLIS courses : Measuring post-harvest losses


APHLIS is the "African PostHarvest Loss Information System". This system offers the best estimates of postharvest losses in Africa, for the most important cereals, legumes and roots and tubers.

Because direct measurements of postharvest losses are costly and complex, few good quality figures are available. For all the cases where such a good quality measurement is not available, a credible estimate is the best alternative.

APHLIS estimations of postharvest losses are mainly designed for decision-makers needing to invest development resources towards achieving food security through reduction of postharvest losses.

APHLIS estimates are based on loss figures that were measured scientifically and published in peer-reviewed literature, adapted by a transparent algorithm to various agro-ecological zones and local conditions. For more details, please consult: https://www.aphlis.net/

The APHLIS courses presented here are components of a toolkit developed by experts from the Natural Resources Institute (NRI) of the University of Greenwich. These courses are designed to train young agronomy technicians in the application of the APHLIS methodology for measuring postharvest losses. APHLIS uses this methodology to collect specific postharvest loss measurements in order to verify its estimates and also to add to their calculation and make them even more reliable. The loss measurement methodology has been developed, tested and refined by NRI scientists over decades.


This course describes cereal postharvest losses in SSA and APHLIS, the African PostHarvest Losses Information System, which provides science-based estimates of the postharvest loss levels where direct measurements are not available.

This first course introduces the full series of APHLIS courses on rapid postharvest loss assessment measurement, and presents the objectives.

This course in the APHLIS series on postharvest loss measurements introduces you to the creation and use of visual scales to facilitate and speed up the estimation of losses during storage.

The course explains how to use a visual scale and in what context; how to define the quality classes that make up the visual scale; how to create examples of these quality classes and present them in transparent boxes, dishes or bags for use in the field.

To collect the local information needed to create the visual scale you will need to work with informants. Your visual scale will need to be used by the enumerators once you have trained them.

Finally, the course describes the data to be recorded at each stage.


This course recalls the postharvest steps for cereals according to APHLIS and covers  losses during threshing or shelling, winnowing and home drying. In addition, it describes how to measure losses at these stages of the postharvest value chain, according to the APHLIS methodology.


This course introduces the topic of cereal storage and the losses which occur during this activity. It explains how to correctly take samples to measure the losses occurring during storage through use of a visual scale. It discusses the storage season/calendar and the entry of the loss data.

This course on phosphine fumigation presents the preparatory operations, the process of a good fumigation and post fumigation activities in order to effectively eliminate pests of stored grains. The course explains the precautions to take and details the essential protective equipment against phosphine gas. The course also describes the dangers associated with the use of phosphine during fumigation and introduces the notion of pest resistance to phosphine.