Food Losses and Wastage along the Wheat Value Chain in Egypt and Their Implications on Food and Energy Security, Natural Resources, and the Environment

Published Date
September 07, 2021
Type
Journal Article
Food Losses and Wastage along the Wheat Value Chain in Egypt and Their Implications on Food and Energy Security, Natural Resources, and the Environment
Authors:
Yigezu Atnafe Yigezu
Moustafa Azab Moustafa, Mohamed Mohye, shaimaa Eldesoky Ibrahim, Wael Mohamed Abdelhaleem GHANEM, Abdoul Aziz Niane, Enas Abbas Saleh, Sami Sabry, Habib Halila

Pushing yield frontiers of cereals and legumes is becoming increasingly difficult, especially
in drylands. This paper argues and provides empirical evidence that food loss and wastage constitute
a sizeable proportion of the total wheat supply in Egypt. By following the life cycle of food and using
standard measurement protocols, we estimated the levels of food loss and wastage along the wheat
value chain in Egypt and their socioeconomic, biophysical, and environmental implications. About
4.4 million tons (20.62% of total wheat supply from domestic production and imports in 2017/2018)
is estimated to be lost or wasted in Egypt which is also associated with the wastage of about
4.79 billion m3 of water, and 74.72 million GJ of energy. This implies that if Egypt manages to
eliminate, or considerably reduce, wheat-related losses and wastage, it will save enough food to feed
21 million more people from domestic production and hence reduce wheat imports by 37%, save
1.1 billion USD of much-needed foreign exchange, and reduce emissions of at least 260.84 million kg
carbon dioxide-equivalent and 8.5 million kg of methane. Therefore, investment in reducing food
loss and wastage can be an effective strategy to complement ongoing efforts to enhance food security
through productivity enhancement in Egypt.

Citation:
Yigezu Yigezu, Moustafa Azab Moustafa, Mohamed Mohye, shaimaa Eldesoky Ibrahim, Wael GHANEM, Abdoul Aziz Niane, Enas Abbas Saleh, Sami Sabry, Habib Halila. (7/9/2021). Food Losses and Wastage along the Wheat Value Chain in Egypt and Their Implications on Food and Energy Security, Natural Resources, and the Environment. Sustainability, 13 (18).
Keywords:
food loss
food waste
value chain
food and energy security
natural resources and environment
wheat