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Post-2015 Consensus: Food Security Viewpoint, Owomugasho

Viewpoint Paper

Owomugasho makes some comments on the primary topic of post-harvest losses. In particular, she points out that the conclusions are based on inconsistent data about that which commodities suffer the greatest losses in individual regions.

It is not clear whether infrastructure variables were estimated separately for developing and developed countries. There are some variables that would be more critical for developing countries. For example, road density is critical for developing countries and yet shows insignificant results, whereas, telephone lines shows positive and significant result despite the fact that the number of people with fixed telephone lines, especially in SSA, is less than 1%. The impact of goods transported by rail is highly significant, and yet the rail network in SSA is poor. The regressions need to be calculated separately for each of the developing and developed countries to make the real impacts apparent.

The estimates of investment required for infrastructure also seem to suggest that Africa needs less investment in terms of electricity, paved roads, rail capacity and road capacity than Asia to reduce PHL. Since Africa has the lowest level of existing infrastructure, this would suggest that it also has the lowest level of post-harvest losses compared to other regions. Data in the paper, however, show that the overall percentage losses are similar to other regions. Estimates by region would have made the overall conclusions clearer and more transparent.