Food losses and waste in the context of sustainable food systems - E-consultation to set the track of the study

03.04.2013 - 30.04.2013

The Committee on World Food Security (CFS) in its thirty-ninth Session (October 2012) requested the High Level Panel of Experts (HLPE), to undertake a study on ‘Food losses and waste in the context of sustainable food systems’ to be presented to the Plenary in 2014. This report has to be policy oriented, practical and operational.

As part of its report elaboration process, the HLPE is launching an e-consultation to seek views, public feedback and comments, on the pertinence and interconnections of some key questions that the report proposes to address, in line with the request from the CFS, and that could form the building blocks of the report. References of global and national studies and data on the subject, especially on food waste, are also welcome.

The feedback received will be used by the HLPE Steering Committee to finalize the terms of reference of the study and the HLPE Project Team that will be appointed to prepare the study and policy recommendations.

To download the proposed scope, please click here.
If you wish to contribute, send an email or use the form below.

The consultation is open until 30th April 2013.


In parallel, the HLPE is calling experts interested in participating or in leading the Project Team for this report. Information on this call is available on the HLPE website. The HLPE Steering Committee will appoint the Project Team after review of candidatures.

The HLPE Steering Committee

Wageningen UR Food & Biobased Research, Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs , Netherlands

Motivation: food security & postharvest losses

Supply chains for fruits and vegetables in developing countries are characterised by relatively high losses between harvest and consumption and in all the steps and processes that take place between these. Postharvest loss is often used to describe losses between harvest and the onward supply of produce to markets and equates broadly with waste in the food supply chain. In its Food Loss Reduction Strategy the FAO stated that the losses for perishable crops, by their nature, are higher than those for cereals and highly varied by region and by commodity type, suggesting losses over 50%.

Analysis: causes of postharvest losses in the FSC of fruit and vegetables

The causes of postharvest losses in the fruit and vegetables postharvest chain in developing economies are diverse and often interconnected. The majority of these causes are foremost concerned with the categories cold chains/refrigerated transport, storage facilities and product handling. This top-3 accounts for more than 40 percent of the identified causes of postharvest losses. Another major cause of postharvest loss is lack of market-oriented production (no demand). Soon a report will be published by Wageningen UR Food & Biobased Research in which the main causes of postharvest loss have been examined (please contact Bart van Gogh). Topics that are reviewed in view of these causes are: cooling and refrigeration, conditioned atmosphere storage, postharvest handling, agrologistics, product physiology, packaging, food nutrional value and food safety, fruit/vegetable processing, market information, capacity building and system innovation.

Food security in metropolitan areas is under pressure

Estimates of the UN indicate that 70% of the world population will live in urban area by the year 2050. In the same period, the middle class (consumers of processed food) in for example BRIC countries will rise in a very fast pace. The middle class in India will rise from 5% in 2007 to 40% in 2030. These developments place high pressure on food safety and food security. This demands sustainable, efficient and technologically advanced food chains.

Food security and postharvest losses: Dutch (institutional) framework

The Ministry of Economic Affairs has addressed food security as one of their top priorities and announced to explore the possibilities to improve efficient chains in upcoming countries and to develop these in co-operation with the partners from the private and not-for profit sector in the Netherlands.

Intervention: Network of Excellence postharvest losses

In the Netherlands, the concept of a Network of Excellence (NoE) with a clear focus on global postharvest food losses will be established. Such a network is based on the idea that a conglomerate of stakeholders, rather than a single party, would engage with the complexity of causes of postharvest losses more effectively. The NoE also encourages co-operation between private and public sector, as well as knowledge institutes.

Network of Excellence: opportunities

The concept of the NoE facilitates stakeholders to combine efforts in designing and implementing solutions to reduce postharvest losses. The private sector has a role to play in the process of developing and implementing practical and appropriate solutions, as well as knowledge institutes, not-for profit organizations, intermediary organizations and public agencies, in order to tackle the mentioned complexity of postharvest losses. Keyword within the context of the Network of Excellence is postharvest knowledge and the transfer of this knowledge to the identified target groups. The Network discloses knowledge on postharvest related issues to the network’s target groups, as well as between network members themselves. By performing an intermediary role as matchmaker between network members and network clients, the Network of Excellence makes this knowledge available to chain actors in developing countries.

Relevant challenges for HLPE are:

  • Design and implementation of supply systems connecting rural production areas to urban consumers.
  • Solutions for fine distribution in urban areas in developing countries and emerging economies, (f.i. last mile, price / performance ratio).
  • Recognize economic incentives in the food chain leading to food waste.
  • Sustainable logistics are often more efficient (faster, less losses) and cheaper (less water, less petrol) . An overview of successful showcases can serve as a source of inspiration.
  • To achieve a maximum result it is advisable that the private sector will be involved in formulating solutions.

See also the contribution of Martine Rutten, LEI Wageningen UR The Netherlands , posted 16-4-2013


Gogh, J.B. van, Aramyan, L.H., Soethoudt, H.H., Sluis, A.A. van der, Scheer, F.P. (2013). Feasibility of a Network of Excellence postharvest food losses. Wageningen UR Food & Biobased Research (report to be published in 2013)

Metropolitan Food Clusters & Agroparks: Services/Research-Institutes/alterra/Projects/Metropolitan-Food-Clusters-en-Agroparks.htm

Platform Metropolitan Food Security

Robert van Otterdijk FAO - Working Group on Food Losses, Italy

The study should investigate:

1. how the reduction of FLW could improve the sustainability of food systems

2. how unsustainable food systems contribute to FLW

The scope of issues that the HLPE proposes to look at, is too wide. It would be better to stay more focused on the core objectives mentioned above.

1. Don't enter the discussion of the definition of FLW; just take the FAO definition in its current state.
2. Don't include agricultural production for non-food uses.
3. Don't include 'over-use' of food; far too little is known, or can be defined at this stage.
4. Don't include 'measuring and data availability (indicators, trends, monitoring); just use the available data of the extent of FLW
5. Regarding the impact of FLW on the 4 dimensions of food & nutrition security (availability, access, utilization, stability), only consider availability and access. Rationale: FLW have a direct effect on the availability, and an indirect effect on the access if FLW reduction leads to increased income.
6. Focus the study on two regions only: Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa.
7. Study the mutual impact of the 3 dimensions of sustainability plus the policy dimension (ENV, SOC, ECO, POL) on FLW.
a. Impact of FLW:
ECO: reduced income, reduced GDP, reduced investments, no growth
ENV: waste of natural resources, unnecessary GHG emission
SOC: reduced food security
b. Causes of FLW (how unsustainable food systems contribute to FLW):
SOC: culture and behaviour of people, consumption patterns; lack of education, organizational and managerial skills
ECO: poverty; lack of investments; no access to technology; poor infrastructure; logistics
POL: enabling environment/ investment climate, subsidies, legislation, standards and norms for food quality, trade regulations
c. Reduction of FLW and Valorisation of FLW (how the reduction of FLW could improve the sustainability of food systems):
ECO: economic feasibility of solutions; distribution of economic benefits among the value chain actors; valorisation of FLW
SOC: acceptability of solutions
ENV: net environmental impact of the solutions, especially regarding energy consumption and ghg emission
POL: political will to make changes
8. The impact, causes and solutions should be assessed in the national, regional and inter-regional context, the latter meaning that FLW in one region can be caused by conditions in another region, and can have a social and economical impact in another region. For example: more value addition in a poor region could reduce losses in that region, reduce imports into that region, and increase export of high-value products as well as reduce exports of raw materials to a rich region.
9. Answer the two questions above.
10. Make recommendations to reduce FLW and increase the sustainability of food systems.
11. The study could be undertaken by studying a large quantity of cases from projects (FAO, WB, private sector, IFAD, EU, AfDB etc.) on food security and value chain development, and develop models to assess 7a, b and c above.
Xavier Meignien International Institute of Refrigeration (IIR), France

Dear all,

For many years, the IIR has been concerned about post-harvest losses and would like to thank those who have set up this survey and the High Level Panel of Experts who are working on these issues.

One cause of such losses is a lack of logistics in general and refrigeration of perishable foods in particular (which tend to be high-added-value products with high nutritional value).

The impact of quantitative losses can be investigated by examining reduced accessibility for the consumer (prices that are too high,  reduced availability) as suggested in the on-line document.

The loss of nutritional value can also be examined where product loss has not occurred, but quality is impaired.

And this is not all; it would also be valuable to investigate not only the impact of losses but also, on a broader scale, the consequences of a lack of logistics and a cold chain or poor logistics and a poor cold chain:

  • On one hand, consumers alone are generally unable to cover the cost of losses and deterioration in quality; such costs are thus a burden also for professional stakeholders, in particular producers, and this situation discourages production;
  • On the other hand, a lack of logistics and a cold chain have consequences that go beyond the loss issue:
    •  - It would be useful to evaluate the agricultural production potential which does not come into play even if soil and climate conditions are favorable, simply because without logistics and refrigerated storage facilities and refrigerated transport, products cannot be placed on the market under good conditions in major consumer areas in producer countries and even more so in other countries, and it is impossible to spread the marketing of products over a certain period in order in order to match supply and demand.
    •  - The lack of a suitable transport system for products such as fish, milk or fruit means that such products are not in fact supplied to persons living in regions that are in fact sometimes close to the production sites.
    •  - The obligation to sell perishable foods within a very short time frame means that producers are forced to accept prices that fluctuate greatly and from day to day, whereas the use of suitable storage facilities would reduce such fluctuations without profoundly affecting the market; farmers, as is the case for other economic stakeholders, need visibility in order to launch production and expand their activities.

Lastly, it would also be useful to evaluate the health costs generated by poorly functioning cold chains; this issue above all concerns intermediate countries which have cold chains that are relatively developed but not sufficiently reliable, and have a significant percentage of consumed foodstuffs that are handled within cold chains.

Yours sincerely,




Bonjour à tous,

L’IIF est préoccupé depuis de nombreuses années par les pertes après-récolte et remercie les organisateurs de cette consultation ainsi que les experts du HLPE qui travaillent sur ces sujets.

Une des causes de ces pertes est le défaut de logistique, en particulier de logistique du froid pour les produits périssables (qui se trouvent être aussi des produits à forte valeur ajoutée et à forte valeur nutritionnelle).

L’impact des pertes quantitatives peut être étudié en considérant la réduction de l’accessibilité pour les consommateurs (prix trop élevés,  disponibilité physique plus faible) comme c’est suggéré dans le document mis en ligne.

On peut aussi considérer les pertes de qualité nutritionnelle dans les cas où les produits ne sont pas complètement perdus mais altérés.

Mais ce n’est pas tout ; il serait intéressant d’étudier non seulement l’impact des pertes mais aussi, plus généralement, les conséquences du manque ou de l’insuffisance de logistique et de chaîne du froid:

  • D’une part les consommateurs ne sont généralement pas capables de payer seuls le coût des pertes et de la dégradation de la qualité ; celles-ci pèsent donc aussi sur le prix payé aux acteurs professionnels, notamment les producteurs, ce qui décourage la production
  • D’autre part l’absence ou l’insuffisance de logistique et de chaîne du froid a des conséquences qui dépassent le problème des pertes :
    •  - Il serait intéressant d’évaluer le potentiel de production agricole qui n’est pas mobilisé alors que les conditions pédoclimatiques sont bonnes, simplement parce que faute de logistique et d’entreposage et de transport frigorifiques il n’y a pas de commercialisation possible dans de bonnes conditions vers les grands centres de consommation des pays producteurs et a fortiori vers d’autres pays, ni de possibilité d’étaler dans le temps l’écoulement des produits pour améliorer l’adéquation entre l’offre et la demande.
    •  - Le manque d’acheminement correct des produits tels que le poisson, le lait ou les fruits, fait que ces produits ne sont pas accessibles physiquement pour les habitants de régions pourtant proches, parfois, des lieux de production.
    •  - L’obligation de vendre des produits périssables dans un délai très court contraint les producteurs à accepter des prix très fluctuants d’un jour à l’autre alors que la possibilité  d’entreposer correctement permettrait d’atténuer ces fluctuations sans pour autant fausser les fondamentaux du marché ; les agriculteurs, comme les autres acteurs économiques, ont besoin de visibilité pour entreprendre et se développer.

Enfin, il serait intéressant également d’évaluer le coût sanitaire des mauvais fonctionnements de la chaîne du froid ; ce sujet concerne surtout des pays intermédiaires où il existe des chaînes du froid relativement développées mais insuffisamment fiables, et où une part significative des aliments consommés par la population passe par une chaîne du froid.



Jiwan Prava Lama Department of Food Technology and Quality Control, Kathmandu, Nepal, Nepal

It is my pleasure to send the comments on the paper on Food Losses and Waste in the Context of Sustainable Food System as a participant of HLPE as well as subject of my profession.  The comments are as follows:

1) The major obstacles in the least developed countries like Nepal is the lack of infrastructure. This has not only lead to huge amount of food losses during the distribution channel but also resulted in serious health problems. Poor refrigeration system with interrupted electricity, poor road facilities, poor capacity of farmers on hygiene and sanitation has made the entrepreneur huge loss of perishable food products like milk and meat products.

2) The over use and misuse of pesticides in order to protect them from the possible damage of pests has resulted the pollution of the whole agro-ecosystem and the consumption of such vegetables has resulted in public health problem. The case studies on Total Diet Study (TDS- Pesticide Residues) reported that the contamination of pesticide residues in fresh vegetables were higher than other food crops.

In the media coverage, the farmers usual dump the left over vegetables instead of feeding to animals due to excessive use of pesticides.  

3) The focus has to be given to the awareness and education programs in order to make people aware on food and nutrition security as well as food safety issues.

For example in the mountainous districts of Nepal, the availability of locally produced crops and tubers and fruits and vegetable should be optimally used as food basket in reducing hunger problem rather than providing subsidy in imported rice. So the subsidy policy should be revised to encourage the utilization of local production.

4) Another important thing is the stamping the expiry date on several processed food without proper research about their shelf life. It made the regulatory body to destroy the food product, may be prior to the real consumable period. So the provision for expiry date has to be revised or enforced scientifically.

5) The joint monitoring of different regulatory agencies seize the suspicious food products from food market and industry and dump, dispose, burn without taking consideration of food losses and environmental protection.

6) Excessive use of food products in feast and festival results in huge loss of food products.

7) The regulatory body use to dump and dispose the food products of small food services due to poor hygiene and sanitation.

Recommendation: The policy and regulation need to be address on food loss and waste. There are need of adequate awareness program on food safety, hygiene and consumption pattern.

Zenón Porfidio Gomel Apaza ASAP, Peru

Estimados señores.

Atento a la convocatoria tengo a bien precisar lo siguiente:

Primero, me suscribo con los 6 puntos propuestos por HLPE para examinar la pédida y desperdicio de alimentos.

Segundo, para el caso de la sierra de Perú y concretamente del Altiplano peruano -donde vivo y laboro- habrían abordajes mas especificos en la cadena agroalimentaria. a) por lo menos en los últimos 20 años a la pérdida de los alimentos ha contribuido el aumento del efecto de los eventos extremos climáticos (dicho de otro modo los efectos del cambio climático), por ejemplo las granizadas, heladas plagas y enfermedades que afectan a los cultivos en periodo de crecimiento en terreno, cuyas pérdidas no se han estimado mi medido con exactitud; por tanto necesitamos saber cuanto es la pérdida por este factor. Por otro lado la incorporación de nuevas tecnologías modifican el patron tecnológico de las comunidades, es decir una agricultura "mas tradicional" ha asumido nuevos conocimientos y procedimientos que han generado una mayor producción de alimentos y también una mayor afectación a los recursos naturales agrícolas, pero esta producción no es sostenible en el tiempo, por tanto genera una pérdida de la producción y productividad por unidad de superficie frente a la producción anterior cuando se basaba sólo en conocimiento tradicional; es importante también aquí evaluar la productividad actual de los campos cultivados en planicie frente a la productividad de los cultivos en ladera de antes.

Segundo, en que medida se está haciendo el adecuado manipuleo de los alimentos en periodos post consecha, siempre a la luz de los efectos de las variaciones extremas de los factores climáticos los productos tienden a deteriorase pronto si no se los procesa o almacena correctamente y en los tiempos correspondiente. Es necesario evaluar cuanto es la pérdida en este etapa.

Tercero, he constatado que el desperdicio ocurre en la medida que los nuevos estilos de vida se van incorporando a las comunidades campesinas indígenas y locales, y van generando nuevos comportamientos. El niño no prefiere el "k'ispiño" hecho de quinua sino una galleta o que se vende la quinua para adquirir el arroz. Este es un punto que requiere se explorado. Y finalmente es necesario tambien saber el pérdida o desperdicio en el proceso de transformación o industrialización de los productos agrícolas versus la utilización de los insumos o energia en ese proceso para lograr un producto de calidad y que sea util fisiológicamente.

Muchas gracias por su atención y muchos saludos desde el Altiplano peruano.


Zenón Gomel


Samuel Ayuba Hamisu College of Agriculture Gujba, Nigeria

Freshly harvested Crops (at commercial maturity) need to be handle with care, postharvest losses is not merely the damage which is occurring through bruises, cracks, or deterioration per se but also the nutritional composition  of the produce which is a matter of great concern. Food security need to be intensify so that to promote quality of products.

Moreover, one need to know not only to have this Crops in abundant but also to able to safeguard the nutritional composition, because apart of being food for body building it serves as medicinal and many people administered them as source of Vitamin etc. HIV/AIDS patients, Malnutrition and so forth need them as empathizer and minerals. The losses begin from harvesting and handling in store, when reaching the wholesaler, retailer before reaching the final consumer its depreciate along this chain.

The successibility to minimize Postharvest losses laid on simple improve technological practice which will be implemented and to be affordable to small scale farmer because they cannot cater for the complex one. 

In Sub-sahara Africa where the temperature is very hot there is high amount of damage  frequently due to negligence  of    Government Agencies  coming in to fund the internal system to get some means of  brainstorming the farmers. The Extension Officers who can reach the farmer were no longer knowledgeable to carry out the task of easing the impending problem of losses.  I suggest Postharvest Technology to be a Curriculum beginning from Secondary Education where students will learn on how to determine and practices use of maturity indices to identify proper harvest period, Benefit of improved containers to protect damage during handling and transportation, the use of shade, sorting/grading to enhance market value and use of on-farm storage in every secondary school. In case of the farmers that did not school the extension officer will put them through and encourage  and teach Him/Her more about marketing and to take more responsibility to their Crops after harvesting, target to reduce losses. If this is carry out and adopt surplus of food will be all year round in the World community, and the surplus they were the cheaper it become.

Another lapses from the stakeholders is there is no available scholarship for the people who have key interest to further their studies in this field. Sub –Sahara Africa  where left behind  and we that are in the region have a challenges face us because we were not skilled enough to face the challenges of  Postharvest losses. The stakeholders need to encourage young scientist by offering scholarship to motivate them to go and study this course by so doing we can bridge the gap to reduce losses and ravage  food availability to keep pace with the increasing world population.  Pest save as factors of losses which include Rodents, Insects, microorganism also Moisture content, Humidity plays their role on the other hand, the most problems we encountered in cereals and pulses grain which also resulted to so many losses in store grain, is lack of awareness, farmers were exercising wrong  ideas, most of their stores are not well insulated and it leads to infiltration, dampness of the wall partition, they did not have a knowledge of how to site their storage systems they construct them on water way and during raining season run-off water will wash out the side of the store in form of erosion, or in the rainy windy day water splashes through the wall partitions which were poorly constructed.

They don’t use to keep their produce on shade before storing due to ignorant, these lead to increase in the rate of respiration and resulted to Hot-Spot, condensation etc and when combine with humidity in the store will cause Caking and infestation of microorganism which will bring about loss of flavor and nutritional value, if this affect the grain I don’t think if something will remain good in the store produce.

In every   region we knew our people lapses and capability in the field of Postharvest Technology and their social behaviors  so one need to improve when performing a similar task.

Whereas, in horticultural produce the Climacteric produce were found to be very difficult to control among the farmers due to it ethylene (C2H4) production in the hormone of the crops, while this triggering by hot temperature which hastened the ripeness that lead to senescence stage of deterioration .

These indicate that flesh resistance to O2  diffusion in horticultural commodities may not be negligible and therefore in considering this Modified/Control atmosphere has to be taking as measures. But as mentioned eallier on, the attributed  lack of awareness and understanding lure the farmers to losses.


Nevertheless, reaching the unreached is among the task ahead because farmers need some traditional practices to control ethylene action, such as preventing the plant being exposed to biologically action  of ethylene, prevent it from responding to perceived ethylene, controlling exposure to ethylene, and to prevent the plant tissue from perceiving the ethylene that is in its surrounding atmosphere or that is being produced by tissue. Although, application of ethylene in some fruits increased the quality of mature harvested cultivars and withstand the duration of transport and then treated with ethylene gas (C2H4 ) to promote ripening before sale. For these reason these are gleams to the knowledge of farmers, one need to brainstorm Him/Her with innovation of how to reduce losses to nearest minimum as we know that ethylene stimulate many metabolic activities in horticultural produce including respiration, Oxygen (O2) use can be increased, as it goes high, Carbon dioxide (CO2) also rise and produces heat which resulted to Hot-Spot in store.  


I would suggest the Triple bagging system of Purdue Improve Cowpea Storage (PICS) to be introduce to cowpea farmer to use them in storing their Cowpea, as we know Cowpea weevil or Bruchid cause a lot of destruction to farmers when they did not store their beans properly, the Adult live 5-10 days. Each female lays 40-60 eggs and glued to the cowpea seed till hatches  and they feed on the cowpea and emerge an Adult after 3-4 weeks. Triple bagging have 99% of controlling their infestations.

Postharvest technologist should work hand in hand with:

  1. Non Governmental Organizations.
  2. Community Leaders.
  3. Producers and Farmers Organizations.

To popularized any innovation that would reduce losses, we should use demonstration in village to impart “Cost Benefit Analysis”,   sensitization through means of radio using posters and Flyers.

Also to motivate the farmer through marketability of His/Her produce so that when you come next He/She will be eager and willing to receive your instruction (Innovation), and increasing of small producer’s income. Mind, sometimes the farmer due to lack of knowledge and affordability to cater to construction  complex storage system He/She have no option than to sale His/Her produce immediately after harvesting cheaper to reach people in the community, and when the day go by He/She will remain poorer and the reach get reached.

Submitted to:

Committee on World Food Security (CFS)

By: Samuel Ayuba Hamisu

Postharvest Education Foundation (PEF) USA  (International Consultant).

Address: Yobe State College of Agriculture, Gujba, Dept. of Agric. Techn. P.M.B. 1104 Damaturu.

Country: Nigeria, West Africa.

Date: 25th April, 2013

Tolly Lolo Emmanuel Open Markets Agency, Cameroon


Bien vouloir trouver ci apres ma contribution à la consultation sur les pertes apres-récoltes du secteur des produits vivriers agricoles au Cameroun.

En raison de leur fort enjeu économique, leur impact sur la sécurité alimentaire, leur contribution à l’équilibre alimentaire et d’une faible maîtrise de leurs techniques de conservation et de transformation, certaines cultures (filières) vivrières telles : le manioc, la pomme de terre, et la tomate font actuellement l’objet d’une attention particulière de la part du Gouvernement Camerounais.

En effet, la consommation énergétique actuelle au Cameroun qui se situe à environ 2300 Kcal/personne/jour reste inférieure à la moyenne des pays en développement qui est de 2600 Kcal/j/personne. Et l’Etat Camerounais, dans sa stratégie (volet agriculture et développement rural) s’est fixé comme objectif d’atteindre un niveau de 3100 Kcal/jour/personne à l’horizon 2015, ce qui correspond à un accroissement moyen annuel de 2,8% entre 2010 et 2015.

Pour atteindre cet objectif, il est indispensable non seulement de maîtriser les techniques de production, mais aussi et surtout de réduire significativement les pertes après-récolte qui représentent environ 20 à 50% de la production pour certaines cultures vivrieres, notamment les racines et tubercules, les fruits et légumes. En effet, les pertes alimentaires et leur prévention ont un impact significatif sur l’ensemble des piliers de la sécurité alimentaire : la disponibilité, l’accessibilité, la stabilité des approvisionnements des marchés,  ainsi que la qualité sanitaire et nutritionnelle des aliments. Actuellement, l'ampleur et les principales causes des pertes de produits alimentaires sont assez bien connues (faible qualité du matériel agricole ; techniques culturales non adaptées ; enclavement des bassins de production ; accès difficile aux équipements de transformation, de transport et aux infrastructures de stockage adéquats ; mauvaise organisation des marchés, accès difficiles aux informations sur les marchés, faible structuration/organisation des filières vivrières ; faible professionnalisation des acteurs ; …).  Cependant, compte tenu de l’absence de données statistiques nationales dans le domaine des pertes après-récolte ou des gaspillages alimentaires en général, l’évaluation des pertes est restée jusque là assez générale et non quantifiée par cause ; rendant ainsi difficile l'établissement des priorités pour la mise en œuvre d’interventions spécifiques pour la réduction significative des pertes et l’obtention d’un maximum d'effets escomptés.

C’est donc dans l’optique de trouver des mesures idoines pour réduire les pertes après-récolte que le Ministère de l’Agriculture et du Développement Rural (MINADER) du Cameroun, a décidé d’entreprendre avec l’appui des consultants de la FAO, depuis janvier 2013, une étude les trois (3) cultures principales suivantes : le manioc, la pomme de terre, et la tomate. Il s’agit, à partir d’une analyse détaillée des causes de pertes sur certains points critiques des chaines d’approvisionnement prioritaires, d’identifier les facteurs influant sur la quantité et la qualité des produits agricoles tout au long de la chaîne post récolte, qui part de la récolte à la consommation, en passant par la récolte, la manutention, le transport, le conditionnement, la conservation et la transformation.

L’étude est encore en cours, mais les résultats préliminaires auxquels nous sommes arrivés montrent que le niveau de pertes après récoltes pour l’ensemble de la chaine du manioc est d’environ de 45% (avec environ 25 à 30% au niveau de la récolte!). Les causes des pertes sont nombreuses et sont présentes sur l’ensemble de la chaine d’approvisionnement ; mais les principaux points critiques ont été identifiés au niveau de la récolte, de la transformation (épluchage et/ râpage), puis au niveau des marchés (conditionnement et stockage). 

Au regard de l’état des lieux qui montre que l’offre en produits de manioc est largement inférieure à la demande actuelle et potentielle nationale et sous régionale, la stratégie d’intervention proposée en vue de la réduction des pertes en manioc a mis un accent particulier sur :

  1. la nécessité d’harmoniser le cadre d’intervention des nombreuses initiatives encours actuellement sur le sous secteur manioc, que se soit d’une part par le secteur privé, les ONG ou d’autre part, dans les différents départements ministériels et projets sous-tutelle. Ceci pourrait être grandement facilité par la création d’un Observatoire National de la filière Manioc ;
  2. de faciliter la collaboration entre le Ministère de l’Agriculteur et du Développement Rural avec les autres Ministères et collectivités décentralisées en charge de l’aménagement rural (tels le Ministère de l’Economie, du Plan et de l’Aménagement du Territoire, les Mairies,…) pour faciliter le désenclavement des bassins de production de manioc ;
  3. la facilitation de l’accès aux ressources financières en vue de l’acquisition par les différents acteurs des équipements de transformation, de transport, de conditionnement, et de stockage adéquats ;
  4. le renforcement des capacités des différents acteurs en termes de bonnes pratiques agricoles, bonnes pratiques de transformation, techniques organisationnelles et managériales, accès aux informations sur les marchés,… en vue de faciliter la professionnalisation des groupes de bénéficiaires de la filière manioc.        

D’autres pistes d’intervention sont envisageables, toute fois nous avons tenu à privilégier celles dont la mise en œuvre présenterait un meilleur ratio Coût/Bénéfice. 

M. Tolly Lolo Emmanuel

Ingénieur de conception en Industries Agro-alimentaires

Consultant FAO

Open Markets Agency (Cameroun)



Takeshi Matsuda Japan

Dear all, 

I have studied household food waste at univesity. We found that prevention of food losses led to a significant reduction in GHG emissions. Although composting and biogasification of food waste are good treatment methods, food losses prevention has higher GHG reduction potential.

Additionally, we found that "food waste separate collection program" could reduce the amount of waste. It suggest that the "visualization" is effective approach to reduce the household food waste.

So we need appropriate monitoring method. It will make possible to identify hotspots, measure the program achievement and visualize the information.

Atef Idriss MEFOSA sarl, Lebanon

Middle East North Africa Food Safety Associates (MEFOSA sarl) is a private sector food security consultancy that would like to contribute its shair in addresssing the particulars of our food inseure region.

MENA food processors can do much better if FAO * and the UN 3 sisters can address private sector infrastructural food security needs , including PPP and alliances when addressing food wastege , safety,and sustainabilty .

Academia should be better empowered to research food losses as a result of food dumping in a measure to address developmental socio-economic , as well as trade needs .

Visit our website and see our current broadcast on the issue,

Regrds to All

Atef Idriss  


Yetty Violeta Quirós Ballestero SEPSA, Costa Rica

El determinar las pérdidas en los cultivos es muy importante ya que no se tienen datos oficiales de cuanto producto se pierde, la mayoría de las veces se habla de porcentajes estimados.

Por lo tanto, un estudio que señale realmente cuanto se pierde y las causas de estas perdidas ayudaría a implementar acciones correctivas para disminuir las pérdidas tanto en el campo como en el manejo pos cosecha. Esto incrementaría el ingreso en los productores al aumentar el producto para la venta.