International Journal of Agricultural Management and Development | VOL. 8

Food Losses and Waste: A Global Overview with a Focus on Near East and North Africa Region

Publication Date Mar 1, 2018


Food losses refer to edible food mass decrease throughout the human food chain. Food losses occurring at consumption stage are called food waste. Food Losses and Waste (FLW) represent one of the most critical social, economic and ecological challenges facing humanity, besides being also an ethical issue. FAO data show that roughly one-third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted. There are no precise and accurate data regarding food waste in Near East and North Africa (NENA) region. The review paper aims at providing insights about the extent of FLW in NENA region with a special focus on Arab countries and Iran. The paper explores linkages between food waste and food security. Moreover, it analyses the economic and environmental implications of FLW. FLW vary depending on food type, country and season. Generally speaking, postharvest losses are significant in this region for most of commodity groups. It is estimated that FLW amount to 34% of food supply in NENA region. FLW undermine the very foundations of food security and amount to major depletion of resources (e.g. water, land, energy) and produce needlessly greenhouse gases. They also represent a wasted investment that reduces farmers’ incomes and increase consumers’ expenses. Therefore, food waste reduction is crucial for improving the sustainability of the food supply chain and achieving food and nutrition security in the region.


Food Losses And Waste Food Waste North Africa Region Food Security Food Losses East Africa Region Arab Countries Food Waste Reduction North Africa Food Supply Chain

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