Knowledge for a sustainable world

Professor Rick J Hodges
Visiting Professor of Grain Postharvest Management

Visiting Professors

Natural Resources Institute, Faculty of Engineering & Science

+44 (0)1634 88 3199

Professor Rick Hodges has worked for the Natural Resources Institute, and its predecessor organisations, for thirty five years. He is a specialist in the postharvest management of durable agricultural commodities and for six years was as a full-time commodity management advisor to grain marketing boards in West Africa (Mali) and South East Asia (Indonesia). In 1998, Rick was appointed Reader in Postharvest Entomology and since partial retirement in 2012 he has continued as Visiting Professor of Grain Postharvest Management, dividing his time between food postharvest issues in developing countries and, on a voluntary basis, wildlife conservation in the UK.

Rick Hodges has managed many research and development programmes to improve methods of grain preservation and pest control in the storage systems of subsistence farmers, traders and in large depots. He has authored around 100 scientific publications on grain storage and storage pest management and has been an author and editor of the NRI volumes on Crop Post-Harvest Science and Technology, published by Blackwell Science. He has an active interest in teaching and training at levels ranging from store keepers to students studying for higher degrees, and manages two masters courses 'Postharvest Technology and Economics' and 'Conservation Ecology'.

Rick Hodges advises the UN World Food Programme (WFP) on commodity quality and maintenance and for the World Bank in 2011 led a review of opportunities for grain postharvest loss reduction in Africa (the 'Missing Food' report). He recently addressed the 'UK All Party Parliamentary Group on Agriculture and Food for Development' on the opportunities provided by reducing cereal postharvest losses in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Key words: agriculture, postharvest, Sub-Saharan Africa, postharvest losses, grain storage, storage entomology, stock protection, grain quality

Rick Hodges research interests relate to the preservation of grain in developing countries, along the value chain from farmers to central warehousing. Initially taking a largely entomological approach to the problem of the larger grain borer (Prostephanus truncatus) in Sub-Saharan Africa in the 1980s and 1990s, his interests broadened into a variety of grain quality management options with reduced environmental impacts such as the use of synthetic semiochemicals to manage pest by modifying their behaviour, rationalisation of the use of contact insecticides, improvement in the timing and efficiency of phosphine fumigation, carbon dioxide fumigation in large silos cells, and sealed-stack storage. Since the 2006/2007 food crisis his interests have been focused on postharvest loss reduction as a resource efficient means of improving food availability. An important contribution to this has been the development of the African Postharvest Losses Information System (APHLIS) together with approaches to loss assessment that integrate with APHLIS. For the future this development offers real potential as a significant element in a community of practice devoted to enhancing food security and the livelihoods of smallholder producers in Sub-Saharan Africa.

  • Editorial board of the Journal of Stored Products Research
  • Secretary for the Group for Assistance on Systems Relating to Grain After Harvest (GASGA) and the Global Postharvest Forum (PhAction) (1994-2004)
  • Representing the UK Department for International Development on the EC's ERA-NET on Agricultural Research for Development (ARD) (2007-2010)
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