Post Harvest Loss | Impact

Post Harvest Loss - Impact

  Post harvest losses signify loss or non-conformance to quality and involve economic and environmental costs during the various stages of production.

  Economic losses

  • When food losses are incurred in the supply chain, nutritious, safe and affordable food commodities become scarce in the markets.
  • Further the prices of these essential food commodities create a perfect storm in the budgets of small and middle-class households.
  • Food security for the poor stems from the issue of access to nutritious and safe food at affordable prices.
  • The food supply chain provides employment for millions of people and food losses results in lost opportunities for these stakeholders to increase their incomes.
  • Farmers and end-consumers are most affected sections of the society in terms of economic losses suffered between farm and fork stages of the food supply chain.

  Environmental losses

  • Agriculture necessitates the use of environmental resources such as land, water, and energy.
  • With each cycle of food production, the fertility of the soil is diminished; water resources are drained or polluted, harmful emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) such as methane are released into the atmosphere and lost human efforts, result in intangible environmental costs to the society.
  • Efforts to curb food losses will take a serious note when food prices will reflect economic and environmental costs arising from food losses incurred during the food supply chain.
  • While economic costs are tangible in nature and easily measurable, environmental costs incurred due to food losses and waste are intangible and hard to measure.

Types of food losses/ waste

1. Production

  Losses due to mechanical damage and/ or spillage during harvest

  Threshing or fruit picking, crops sorted out post harvest, etc.

2. Handling and Storage

  Including losses due to spillage and degradation during handdiv ng, storage and transportation between farm and distribution.

3. Processing

  Including losses due to spillage and degradation during industrial or domestic processing, e.g. juice production, canning and bread-baking.

  Losses may occur when crops are sorted out if not suitable to process or during washing, peediv ng, sdiv cing and boidiv ng or during process interruptions and accidental spillage.

4. Distribution

  Including losses and waste in the market system, at e.g. wholesale markets, supermarkets, retailers and wet markets.

5. Consumption

  Including losses and waste during consumption at the household level.

  • Post Harvest Loss Challenge


    In developing nations food losses are borne during the post harvest and processing stages, while developed and high income countries register food waste during the retail and consumption stages of the end consumer.
    Read More... 

  • Statistics


    India has incurred post harvest losses to the tune of 502,389 metric tons of rice and 133,206 metric tons of wheat at the state-run FCI storage facilities from 1997 – 2013, according to FCI in response to an RTI application .