Post Harvest Loss | Save Indian Grain

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 chains.

  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 food requirements.

The nuances of post harvest losses are better understood when defined in terms of food loss and food waste;

  • Food Loss

    Food Loss

    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 Waste

    Food Waste

    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.

  • Food Wastage

    Food Wastage

    Any food lost by wear and tear. Thus, the wastage is here used to cover food loss and 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
  • 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.

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  • Impact of Post Harvest Loss


    Food losses have a direct and negative impact on the food security of poor sections of the society by diluting the quality and safety of food made available to them, which challenges the economic development of the society.

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  • 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 .

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