Improved storage techniques have shown they can cut the loss of harvested maize by 10 percent in Tanzania and help one-third fewer households go hungry in the lean season, Swiss researchers said.
As Africa's population rises and climate change threatens more harvests, simple efforts to protect what is harvested could play a key role in staving off hunger on the continent, they said.
"Improved on-farm storage is particularly important in the 'lean season'" - the period when one harvest is used up and the next is not yet available, said study coordinator Matthias Huss.
That "is often a time of increased food insecurity and hunger", he said.
The study, which was conducted by the University of Zurich, assessed how better crop storage would affect household food security and market prices, said researcher Michael Brander.
One year into the study, "the most astonishing finding so far is that the number of people that go hungry has reduced by one-third", Brander said.