My name is Steve Sonka, I'm an Emeritus Chaired Professor of Agricultural Strategy at the University of Illinois. And I'm also serving as a Research Professor for the ADM Institute for the Prevention of Postharvest Loss. Today, I'd like to talk to you about postharvest loss but more importantly about mitigating postharvest loss. And I'm going to take a bit of a systems perspective. When we think about the question of what hasn't worked? The responses across many situations, across many well funded, well intended projects. What doesn't work is having a narrow, impatient focus on reducing the symptoms of loss. We have seen this over and over again in developing countries around the world. Well, the good news is there have been successes and what has worked? And that's what we'll talk about for the next few minutes. We want to talk for a minute about a project that was conducted in the 1990s and the 2000s in Central America. In Central America, maize is very important, particularly to indigenous small holder farmers, for whom maize is really a primary staple. What we see here in the upper left-hand corner is traditional storage, what on my Iowa farm we would've called a corn crib. You can see a lot of open windows. You can see a lot of places where pest of all kinds can enter and bind on the grain. Traditional storage where there tends to be a lot of losses. In the right hand corner, we see a metal silo. Now, this metal silo is not like a silo you'd see in the United States or in large sophisticated grain storage and ports around the world. This is a silo designed for an individual family. An individual family's food needs for a year. And you can see the grain is removed from the bottom through a spigot when it's needed. And the top is sealed to reduce entry from any kind of pest into the grain. This is a bit of a busy slide, but it makes several important points. And what we're looking at is the annual adoption of metal silos. In the late 1980s, the Swiss Development Corporation went into Central America with a goal of reducing postharvest loss in smallholder farmers in first Honduras, then into Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. So the light blue line, which is the one we probably should look at the most, is the annual adoption of these small metal silos in this four countries, the other colored lines represent each country, but the total is what’s interesting. We can see steady growth, starting particularly in the 90s and continuing on through 2009 or 2008, 2009 when the slide ends. The little box with the arrow that's pointed at about 2003 is very important because that's when the Swiss project ended. After 2003, the Swiss were no longer providing partial support for the adoption of metal silos on these small holder farms. Interestingly, if we did the math, we would see that there are more silos adopted after the project ended than during the project. This to me is success. People have asked me how do we judge if a project is successful. Lot of metrics we could use, the amount of loss, income gained, all very important things. But fundamentally, if the technology is useful, it's going to be adopted and it'll be adopted after whatever type of donor support or government support ends. This is clearly the case of what happened in Central America with metal silos. And the message here is not about metal silos, it's not about the technology. It's about the process that occurred. That the Swiss working with small holder farmers, working with agencies in Central America were led to their success. What they created is what I like to call a market-like environment. And a market-like environment has three components. One, there is effective demand. The technology, the intervention, the new practices have to provide benefits to the users, small holder farmers, the grain industry, there have to be effective benefits that typically are reflected in monetary terms, but not necessarily always. But there have to be the benefits which is demand. There is an appropriate system of supply, of the technology that we're looking at. In this case, metal silos. And we're going to come back to this because this turns out to be the most important element, which unfortunately often times is not focused on, is not thought about in projects looking at postharvest loss. And then a very important third element is an information ecosystem. Around the smallholder farmers adopting technology, around the suppliers of the metal silos. A rich environment of people who are aware of, have questions about, talk about, advertise about, this technology and its potential benefits. And we'll look at items two and three in a little more detail here. And I now want to talk about supply chains. And I say, supply chain for grain. This could be supply chain for fresh food. It could be supply chain for vegetables. We're very comfortable now understanding that in agricultural products there's a supply chain from production to harvesting. Typically there's drying, storage, processing. In the case of Central America, the Swiss went in and identified storage was a significant issue. In fact, lack of storage was the issue, or lack of effective storage. Typically, but not in the case of the Swiss and Central America, but typically, this is kind of where the story ends. And it's assumed the new technology, the innovation, will just occur. In fact, the Swiss, discovered that they needed to make that second supply chain. That this vertical supply chain, which is a supply chain for metal silos. Metal silos have to be made. Metal silos have to be distributed to farmers. There has to be someone performing a retail function. Selling the metal silo and then someone has to service and repair them. The Swiss adopted a model where they went into the villages and they found artisans, people who worked with their hands, who were likely to be good at making these kind of a small metal silos. They also needed the supply or make sure there was a supply of the metal, of the tin. Interestingly, they didn't just stop at teaching the artisans how to make the silo, they also had training in how to run a business. What needed to happen to be successful, not just in making silos, but to create a metal silo business. So one of the reasons we see the growth in the option metal silos after the support from the Swiss Development Corporation is, there were literally thousands of new businesses to be affected had to market their products, support their product and work with small farmers to make the product be adapted. This is the idea of the market-likened environment and the supply chain for the technology. It has to be vibrant, it has to be market-like, sometimes government support, there was some government support involved here but it didn't distort the market signals and the incentives of either the farmers or the tinsmiths. The information ecosystem is very very important. It includes the farmers and the tinsmiths, and then it's lots of folks around them. It includes extension workers. It includes, oftentimes lenders, because there is oftentimes financing involved. Village leaders, other farmers, other tinsmithm, advertising, that all these things were necessary to create the environment within which small holder farmers could say, yes, I've seen that work in the next village, I've seen that work with my neighbor. I want to talk about it, I want to learn about it, and I want to feel comfortable and confident to make the decision to adopt this technology. This is what tends to work. And we see this in many cases not just in the Central America case. Patience, it takes time. It took a decade before the Swiss model employed in Central America was really operating and then it took another decade to get to several hundred thousand metal silos.