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Food Wastage: Causes, Impacts And Solutions


  • Aviyan Pandey

    (Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science, Lamjung Campus, Nepal)


Each year one third of all the produced food for human consumption is lost or wasted. Food wastage scales up the number of hungry people throughout the world and impairs the global food security. Food wastage not only decreases the availability of food, it also reduces the resources needed to produce food for future generation. In many low-income countries, there is considerable loss due to poor storage facilities and lack of capacity to transport produced food immediately after harvesting. Confusion arising from the existence and poor understanding of different food date labels are a major indirect causes of food wastage in developed countries. The quantitative and qualitative impacts of food wastage can be addressed through food wastage footprint. The total food wastage accounts for 3.3Gtonnes of CO2 equivalent. Globally, the blue water footprint of food wastage is about 250km3 equivalent to three times the volume of Lake Geneva. Produced but uneaten food occupies almost about 1.4 billion hectares of land; this represents close to 28% of the world’s agricultural land area. It is difficult to estimate the impact on biodiversity at global level. The impacts are assessed through deforestation due to agricultural expansion and species threatened during agricultural practices. Food wastage also leads to loss of economic value of food entities. Each year, 1 trillion USD is lost through food loss and waste at global level. The broad level of causes and impacts enable us to identify number of solutions to reduce food wastage. Improved practices at harvest and post-harvest stages by adopting new technical innovations could be the best way to mitigate losses in developing countries. Consumer’s behavior should be modified to reduce waste at down-stream level. The government and development partners have to develop sustainable initiatives through effective policies and raise awareness among the people to solve food wastage problem.

Suggested Citation

  • Aviyan Pandey, 2021. "Food Wastage: Causes, Impacts And Solutions," Science Heritage Journal (GWS), Zibeline International Publishing, vol. 5(1), pages 17-20, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:zib:zbngws:v:5:y:2021:i:1:p:17-20
    DOI: 10.26480/gws.01.2021.17.20

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    Cited by:

    1. Rose Daphnee Tchonkouang & Helen Onyeaka & Taghi Miri, 2023. "From Waste to Plate: Exploring the Impact of Food Waste Valorisation on Achieving Zero Hunger," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 15(13), pages 1-21, July.


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