Decades ago, improved seeds and chemical fertilizers doubled or tripled crop yields and helped save millions from famine. But the pursuit of higher crop yields at all costs is what got us here today.
FAO’s close review of what we know about food loss offers a reminder that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. For example, cassava, a staple in much of the tropics, perishes much more quickly than potatoes in temperate regions do.
The lack of data has been a major cause for inaction. Without knowing how much food is lost where, we can’t know which interventions would be effective.
Our lack of knowledge of the magnitude of food loss and waste is a major barrier to addressing the problem. Estimates of global figures vary from 27% (1 billion tonnes) to 32% (1.3 billion tonnes) of all food produced in the world.