Contrary to popular public perception, most of the food loss on the supply side is actually VALUE LOSS, not a physical loss. We don’t often see mountains of rotten produce either in wholesale markets or farms. Most of the produce is consumed by various income strata of society.
Main reasons for this value loss are;
- Inefficient marketing of perishable produce and weak marketing linkages. We firmly believe that dependency of logistics with the price discovery and resultant quality loss because of multiple handling and inefficient distribution/delay in produce reaching the demand side is the main reason for value loss in food.
- Low-value realization at the production side. This result from poor crop planning (read gluts and scarcities), low use of production tech, poor bargain power because of the fragmented small holdings and non-availability of price and risk management tools. In nutshell, small farmers (nearly 80%) don’t have any money and/or incentive to invest back in the soil, post-harvest and quality improvements. Needless to say, inferior produce gets them lower value, which contributes to food loss.
The common theme that weaves around the Food Loss problem in developing economies is poor MARKETING, with capital and bold M.
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