- Post Harvest Loss
Post Harvest Loss - An Overview
Governments across the world are faced with the
challenge of ensuring food security for their citizens by delivering adequate and
continuous supplies of nutritious food at economical prices.
Developed nations have guaranteed food security
for their population by defining and refining their agricultural value and supply
Under-developed and developing nations are challenged
to implement food security for the poor masses, and their efforts are further stymied
by loss and waste suffered during post harvest cycles.
Post harvest losses of agricultural commodities
is a significant issue, as steady growth in global population numbers has stretched
and strained, the supply and availability of clean natural resources such as fertile
land, fresh air, and pure water.
A 2011 FAO study Global Food Losses and Food Waste, stated that “roughly one-third
of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally, which amounts
to about 1.3 billion tons per year.”
In a perfect world, this global food loss and waste
would have fed millions of people suffering from hunger by meeting their minimum
The nuances of post harvest losses are better understood when defined in terms of
food loss and food waste;
Ref. Food waste within food supply chains: quantification and potential for
change to 2050, Parfitt, J., et al. Phil. Trans. R. Soc., vol. 365, pp. 3065-3081
The decrease in edible food mass at the production, post-harvest, processing and
distribution stages in the food supply chains. These losses are mainly caused by
inefficiencies in the food supply chains, like poor infrastructure and logistics,
lack of technology, insufficient skills, knowledge and management capacity of supply
chain actors, and no access to markets. In addition, natural disasters play a role.
Food which is it for consumption being discarded, usually at retail and consumer
level. This is a major problem in industrialized nations, where discarding is often
cheaper than using or re-using, and consumers can afford to waste food. Accordingly,
food waste is avoidable.
Any food lost by wear and tear. Thus, the wastage is here used to cover food loss