From Problem to Solution: How IFAD is Driving Agricultural Waste Reduction in Developing Countries

Agriculture plays a pivotal role in sustaining life on Earth, providing food, fiber, and employment for billions of people. However, a significant portion of agricultural produce, estimated to be around one-third, is wasted, posing environmental, economic, and social challenges. To address this issue, the International Food Agricultural Development Organization (IFAD) has emerged as a global leader in driving agricultural waste reduction in developing countries through various initiatives.

Identifying the Problem:

Agricultural waste, also known as postharvest loss, occurs at various stages of the food supply chain, including production, handling, transportation, storage, and processing. The causes of waste are complex and multifaceted, including inadequate infrastructure, lack of proper storage facilities, poor logistics systems, and the absence of proper waste management practices.

IFAD’s Solutions:

Recognizing the urgency of the problem, IFAD has implemented a range of programs and initiatives aimed at reducing agricultural waste. These include:

1. Small-Scale Food Producer Organizations (FFPOs): IFAD supports the establishment and empowerment of small-scale food producer organizations (FFPOs) that empower farmers with knowledge and resources to adopt good agricultural practices, improve postharvest handling, and access markets.

2. Post-harvest Loss Reduction Technologies: IFAD promotes the adoption of post-harvest loss reduction technologies such as improved storage structures, controlled atmosphere storage, and mechanization.

3. Climate-Smart Agriculture: IFAD integrates waste reduction strategies with climate-smart agriculture practices, such as conservation tillage, water conservation, and agroforestry, to build resilience and reduce environmental impact.

4. Market Development: IFAD facilitates market development by providing farmers with access to information on market trends, pricing, and quality standards.

5. Public-Private Partnerships: IFAD fosters public-private partnerships to attract investments and promote the adoption of innovative technologies and practices.


IFAD’s initiatives have yielded tangible results in reducing agricultural waste. For example, in Tanzania, the organization has helped farmers adopt improved post-harvest handling methods, resulting in a 20% reduction in postharvest losses. In Kenya, IFAD’s support for FFPOs has led to a 15% increase in market access for small-scale producers.


Q: What is the main cause of agricultural waste?
A: Inadequate infrastructure, lack of proper storage facilities, poor logistics systems, and the absence of proper waste management practices are the main causes of agricultural waste.

Q: What is IFAD doing to reduce agricultural waste?
A: IFAD is implementing a range of programs and initiatives, including Small-Scale Food Producer Organizations (FFPOs), Post-harvest Loss Reduction Technologies, Climate-Smart Agriculture, Market Development, and Public-Private Partnerships.

Q: What is the impact of IFAD’s initiatives?
A: IFAD’s initiatives have resulted in significant reductions in agricultural waste and increased market access for small-scale producers.


Comments are closed

Recent Posts