Stories on food and the environment

SAVE FOOD:  Global InitiatIve on Food loss and Waste Reduction
The SAVE FOOD initiative is a global effort to reduce food losses and waste estimated at 1.3 billion tonnes of food every year.

One-third of the food produced in the world for human consumption is thrown away or lost, together with the natural resources used for its production. Although food losses occur at all stages of the food supply chain the causes and their impact around the world differ. In developing countries, food losses hit small farmers the hardest. Almost 65 percent of these food losses happen at the production, post harvest, and processing stages. In industrialized countries, food waste often occurs at the retail and consumer level due to a "throw-away" mindset. The SAVE FOOD initiative aims to cut down on food losses and waste to help improve livelihoods and food security for over 900 million hungry people in the world.

With the support of over 50 companies to date, field studies in developing regions are underway to find the best ways to prevent and reduce food losses in food supply chains. In parallel, studies are also being organized to identify and measure the impact of food losses and waste and the effects on food prices worldwide. This will support the design and implementation of cost-effective and sustainable solutions specific to the area.

New technologies, better practices and coordination, and investments in infrastructure – from food production to consumption - are critical to reducing food losses. Similarly, raising awareness on the impact of food waste is important in changing the "throw-away" mindset and setting policy standards.

To join the SAVE FOOD: Global Initiative on Food Losses and Waste Reduction visit . 

Save and Grow – Sustainable Crop Production Intensification

Sustainable crop production intensification (SCPI) can be summed up in the words “save and grow”. Sustainable intensification means a productive agriculture that conserves and enhances natural resources. It uses an ecosystem approach that draws on nature’s contribution to crop growth – soil organic matter, water flow regulation, pollination and natural predation of pests – and applies appropriate external inputs at the right time, in the right amount to improved crop varieties that are resilient to climate change and use nutrients, water and external inputs more efficiently. Increasing resource use efficiency, cutting the use of fossil fuels and reducing direct environmental degradation are key components of the approach, saving money for farmers and preventing the negative effect of over-use of particular inputs.

For more information:


The West African Regional Integrated Production and Pest Management (IPPM) Programme

Established to improve farming skills and raise smallholder farmers’ awareness of alternatives to toxic chemicals, the West African Regional Integrated Production and Pest Management (IPPM) Programme, by the end of 2010 worked with 116 000 farmers in four West African countries, resulting in improved yields and incomes and making substantial progress in reducing the use of chemical pesticides. The IPPM Programme is built on three main objectives: building local farming capacity, improving food security and livelihoods and raising awareness of negative externalities and positive alternatives.

Read more about the Integrated Production and Pest Management Programme in the FAO feature story “Fewer pesticides and higher yields and income”

Climate-smart agriculture

Climate-smart agriculture (CSA), comprising crops, livestock forestry and fisheries (CSA) seeks to sustainably increase agricultural productivity and incomes, building resilience to climate shocks and variability and reduce and remove greenhouse gas emissions through the adoption of integrated planning and financing for agricultural development. CSA is based on a principle of site specificity – the priorities and practices for climate-smart agriculture will vary from place to place.

For more information on climate-smart agriculture in Malawi, Zambia and Vietnam visit the EPIC Programme website.

The Mitigation in Climate Change (MICCA) Programme is working on ways of up-scaling existing Integrated Food-Energy Systems (IFES) and improving their efficiency In Viet Nam visit


last updated:  Friday, June 22, 2012