Reducing food loss in agricultural development projects through value chain efficiency
This working paper (PDF) by CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) examines how reducing food loss and waste (FLW) impacts emissions in the context of agricultural development progress. By investigating food losses within Feed the Future, the research team had the unique opportunity to study FLW interventions across 20 value chains in 12 countries. Combating FLW addresses the key pillars of climate-smart agriculture for farmers by increasing productivity, promoting adaption to climate change, and mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. The results provide an evidence base of interventions that successfully decreased FLW at multiple points along the food value chain, from upstream producer-dominated stages to downstream consumer-dominated stages. Results also show that no single FLW solution or intervention works across agriculture sub-sectors, value chain stages, and countries. Amongst the sub-sectors studied, results showed that FLW interventions directed at extensive dairy systems could provide meaningful greenhouse mitigation. In the dairy supply chain, FLW estimates ranged from 5-50% in the business-as- usual approach and declined 4-10% as a result of intervention. Cost-effective reductions in FLW benefit actors throughout the value chain, beginning with the producers. Small changes in FLW can have large impacts on food security among smallholder farmers and dairy producers. At the regional and national scales, reduced FLW increases food security while decreasing emission intensity of products. Agriculture and climate change actors and project developers should consider FLW interventions.