Skip to content
Start of page content below the header
News Story
28 June 2014

SIANI at Almedalen 2014: Working with Food Losses and Waste

Recent data on food waste indicate that roughly one third of the food produced for human consumption is wasted. In the face of the growing food security challenge and need for increased efficiency of the food system, food waste has been acknowledge as an issue of high importance on the international agenda. Many projects and initiatives, such as, for example, FAO’s Save Food or UK based WRAP (Waste Reduction Action Plan) , were launched to work for raising awareness about food waste and advising on the ways of its reduction.

Although the amount of wasted food is approximately the same around the world, in industrialized effluent countries most of the waste happens on the consumer level, while in the low-income countries it is the production level where food losses are highest. There is a fraction of food waste that is inevitable, such as potato peels for example, but most of the food wastage can be prevented by better planning, management, education and knowledge sharing.  

Reducing food waste on the consumer and on the production levels is equally important. However, a great deal of SIANI’s work is devoted to agricultural development and food security in low-income countries. That is why this year’s seminar at Almedalen, organized in cooperation with Sida, has a focus on food waste prevention on the production stage. It also spotlights the role of Sweden in the international processes towards food losses reduction.

Below we have linked together the relevent work that SIANI has been enegaged with on this topic over the last 3 years

1) Discussion Brief on Sustainability Implications of Closing the Yield Gap

This brief examines ways to sustainably close the gap between potential and actual yields, with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa and South, Southeast and East Asia, where the yield gap is currently greatest. It finds that assessing the yield gap is a challenge in itself, because common measures of productivity fail to account for economic, environmental and other factors that affect yields, especially among smallholders who may be growing multiple crops. There are many examples of agricultural practices that can boost yields while also increasing environmental sustainability and resilience, but the fundamental challenge will be to better understand local conditions and tailor solutions and incentives to specific agro-ecological contexts.  Read more…

2) Conference session on pre- and post-harvest losses.

The discussions and presentations at the session focused on the inefficiencies of the agricultural value chain. The session featured presentations about ecologically based rodent management, integrated stored product protection and aflatoxins as a major contributor of harvest losses.  Read more…

3) SIANI blog on the issue of rodent outbreaks and rice harvest losses.

Rice, the greatest food commodity produced for human consumption, is particularly vulnerable to rodent outbreaks, especially in the changing climate: rodent outbreaks intensify with early rainfall in wet season. Although only 20 out 1700 rodent species are qualified as pests, each year they cause harvest losses of approximately 17%, enough to feed more than 25 million Indonesians for a year. In his blog he looks into the ways of ecologically based rodent management and discusses its constraints and opportunities.  Read more…

4) SIANI Discussion Brief looks at the role of food security in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The brief reviews and examines how the SDG process to date has addressed the issues related to food security, sustainable agriculture and nutrition. It offers SIANI members and other readers an overview of what goals may be guiding the UN development agenda after 2015 and what might be missing.  Read more…

Short version of the Brief is available in Swedish and in English.

We are looking forward to see you at our event in Almedalen and invite you to have a look at our related work on the website.

Related content

Past event


Side Event at CFS 41
13 October 2014
Rome, Italy

Past event


CFS 41 Committee on World Food Security
13 October 2014
Rome, Italy