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Abstractthis paper is to motivate the interest in postharvest research and to provide an assessment of the impact of this research in terms of income growth, poverty alleviation, food security, and sustainable agriculture in developing countries. While there is a large body of literature on the impact of production research , the studies on the impact of post-production research are still few and lacking a unifying method. The impact literature presented in this paper is certainly incomplete and constitutes only a first attempt to organize the material available to the authors at this stage. The expected contribution of the paper is to provide information relevant to the following two questions: 1) What is the impact of postharvest research on the goals of growth, poverty alleviation, food security, and sustainable use of natural resources? 2) Does postharvest research share the characteristics of an international public good and does it justify a larger investment in this type of research by the international agricultural research system and the donor community? The two questions are conceptually distinct. Postharvest research might well have an impact comparable or even superior to that of production research, yet it might well be lacking the nature of international public good. In such a case, the current low investment by the international agricultural research system, and the CGIAR in particular, is understandable. On the other hand, if postharvest research in developing countries has important public good characteristics that make it unprofitable to private sector investment in those countries, then there is a stronger case for expanding international support to this type of research. Before trying to provide some elements of an answer to these complex questions, we provi...