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On 27th May, the CGF Food Waste Coalition of Action held the second in a series of virtual workshops centering around post harvest losses, this time looking at the issue from the lens of non-perishable agriculture commodities in small scale farming. The workshop provided the opportunity for Coalition members, key supply chain partner and technical experts to spark dialogues on collaborative ways to address the issue of food loss and waste, particularly on-farm losses. Engagement on the issue of post-harvest losses, which includes food loss that occurs at the farm level immediately after production, is one of the Coalition’s key workstreams, given it is the source of 30 percent of all food losses.

During the workshop, three main speakers shared their research and work on the ground, highlighting the challenges faced on the issue of post-harvest loss. Maria Jones, from ADM Institute for the Prevention of Postharvest Loss. She shared a story of a project the organisation has worked on at a smallholder farm, and spoke on the impact of postharvest losses, why it is important that we tackle this issue, and the challenges involved. Mr Kaushlendra from Kaushalya Foundation then presented on the organisation’s work to empower smallholder farmers in Bihar, India. Finally, Margaux Delalex, Climate Delivery Specialist at Coalition member Nestlé shared a case study example from the downstream value chain perspective. They worked closely with smallholder farmers on maize losses in Nigeria, to understand the source of issue and find solutions to the complex issue.   

There were some key themes that emerged from the presentations and discussions during the session. Participants agreed that the predominant cause of food loss is primarily improper drying and storage practices. There is, they said, a lack of awareness and practical training, as well as retained traditional practices and poor livelihoods which act as barriers to solve the issue. Agricultural cooperatives and farmer organisations can play an important role in providing essential training to farmers. Lastly, the role of technology can be highly effective in helping to the solve the issue. The workshop ended with an interactive discussion session for participants.

For more details on the CGF’s work to accelerate progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 and halve food loss per capita worldwide, visit www.tcgffoodwaste.com.