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Chapter 1





                  increase the productivity of smallholder farmers and accelerate the process of
                  agri-food system transformation.
                  To  implement  a  strategy  to  reduce  and  prevent  food  loss,  there  are  three
                  important aspects that need to be taken into consideration. First, there is no
                  accurate information on the extent of the problem, especially in low- and middle-
                  income  countries.  For  the  most  part,  calculations  of  food  loss  hinge  upon
                  accounting exercises that use aggregate data from food balance sheets provided

                  by national or local authorities. This macro-approach estimates, however, are
                  often subject to large measurement error, frequently rely on poor quality data,
                  particularly  in  low-  and  middle-income  countries,  and  are  not  based  on
                  representative samples for specific stages of the value chain. Gustavson et al.
                  (2011), Kummu et al. (2012) and Lipinski et al. (2013) used the Food Balance
                  Sheets  from  FAOSTAT  (2019)  to  estimate  global  food  losses.  More  recently
                  applied micro approaches use sample survey data regarding specific value chain
                  actors to overcome shortcomings of the macro approach. However, these micro
                  approaches are costly and time-consuming to implement. In addition, it can be
                  difficult to get a large enough proportion of responses to represent an entire
                  value chain or region across several years. Results are also hard to compare.

                  Second, there is only scarce evidence regarding the source or cause of food loss.
                  Because  of  the  aggregate  nature  of  their  data,  macro  studies  are  unable  to
                  capture the critical stages at which food loss occurs. Most micro studies capture
                  total food loss based on producers’ self-reported estimates but do not capture
                  detailed  information  regarding  the  relative  amounts  of  food  loss  incurred  by
                  different sources.

                  Third, there is little evidence regarding how to reduce the losses effectively. There
                  have been efforts to introduce particular technologies along specific stages of the
                  value chain (e.g., silos for grain storage, triple bagging for cowpea storage, or
                  mechanized harvesting and cleaning equipment for wheat and maize).  However,
                                                                                 2


                  2  Chatterjee (2018) looks into the impact of storage infrastructure on agricultural yield by
                  using the subsidy program given for construction and renovation of rural godowns in
                  India. The author finds that this subsidy program for better storage infrastructure led to
                  an increase in the rice yield by 0.3 tons per hectare — a 20 percent increase from the

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