Showing results for: Agricultural losses
This paper looks at how we can achieve greater food and nutrition security in a sustainable manner by reducing waste and it also analyses how losses impact overall food system efficiency. It quantifies the food wasted throughout the food chain (10 stages) from primary production to human food consumption and also looks at the impact of livestock production on both food system biomass efficiency and feed crop losses. The paper defines wasted food energy of livestock production in terms of its poor efficiency in feed conversion ratios (ie. only some of the feed livestock consume end up as meat and dairy, with the rest loss via respiration, dung and urine).
Recent assessments have strongly suggested that meeting the widely agreed target of limiting global warming to less than 2°C will require the deployment of substantial carbon sinks in addition to measures to curb greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This perspective article examines the latest research and thinking on the ability of agricultural soil management to reduce GHG emissions and promote soils as carbon sinks, and the practical feasibility of implementing available soil management practices
This editorial article focuses on an aspect of agricultural food loss and waste, not often considered: the effects that a reduction in food loss and waste at the production stage, might have on the species that have become reliant on food waste.
As the climate changes, and food demand increases, crop varieties suited to these conditions need to be developed. The authors of this paper warn that crops yields around the world could fall within a decade unless action is taken to speed up the introduction of new varieties. They propose three ways to improve matching of maize varieties in Africa to a warmed climate: reduce the BDA (the process of breeding, delivery and adoption), breed under elevated temperatures and act to mitigate climate change.
A new paper published in Environmental Science and Technology finds that measures to mitigate agricultural GHG emissions potentially risk increasing global hunger more than the impacts of climate change on crop yields itself. The study draws upon global models to quantify: a. the impact of climate change on yields in the absence of mitigation, b. the impact of bionergy production (as one mitigation measure) on competition for land and associated food prices and c. finally, the costs associated with mitigating the impacts of climate change by introducing a carbon tax. Introduction of this tax is assumed to lead to increase in use of renewable fuels (wind, power, geothermal, bionenergy) and ‘abatement from non energy sources’ – which presumably includes agriculture although they do not specify what sort of abatement this would be.
One of the main concerns about bioenergy is that its production potentially competes with land needed to produce food. In this paper researchers discuss the potential of a bioenergy feedstock/vegetable double-cropping system, in which both biofuel and pumpkin are produced.
In this article, part of National Geographic’s’ The Future of Food series, Tim Folger talks about the potential of biotechnology in the next 'green revolution', and its implications for subsistence farmers worldwide. While acknowledging the anxieties against genetically modified crops, he argues that their value in combating common plant diseases is significant for preventing large-scale agricultural losses.
A growing imbalance between phosphorus and nitrogen fertilizer use in Africa could lead to crop yield reductions of nearly 30% by 2050, according to a new study from researchers at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA).
The EU Gratitude project is aiming to reduce waste from post-harvest losses of root and tuber crops and turn unavoidable waste into something of value. It has yielded interesting findings on how waste from cassava and yams is managed in the value chains, findings which challenge the conventional idea that waste and losses in developing countries occur at the farm end of the value chain. In fact the results, presented at the mid-term review meeting, showed that in Ghana in particular waste and losses were greater at the consumer end and hence more costly- these patterns are more similar to those found in developed countries than previously believed.
This report from Global Food Security programme (GFS) entitled ‘Food waste within global food systems’ discusses how reduction of losses and waste throughout the entire food system can contribute to achieving global food security. It provides an independent assessment of the issues around food waste in developing and developed countries and suggests a number of potential future research priorities across the food supply chain.
Plantwise is an initiative, led by CABI, to improve food security and the lives of the rural poor by reducing crop losses. Plantwise has been initiated to help developing countries set up and run community based plant clinics staffed by ‘plant doctors’ that deliver free plant health advice to farmers.