Food Loses in the Selected Food Supply Chains

This research belongs to the category of technology assessment which examines socio-economic context of technological progress. In this case, it concerns food security which might be strengthened by reducing food losses at lover stages of the food supply chain (FSC) due to technological improvements. Technologies reducing harvest and postharvest losses exist, however, they are not sufficiently adopted by farmers in developing countries. The paper examines these technologies and discusses factors which stimulate and prevent farmers to innovate their harvest and postharvest practices. These factors include human and financial capital, farm size, risk attitudes, labour availability, credit constraints, land and other property ownership access to commodity markets, social interaction, social capital and institutions. Using literature review it is showed that food supply systems tend to separate to urbanisation or export driven FSC and marginalised rural one. The urban&export FSC tend to adopt modern technologies and often also due to government support providing infrastructure, price guarantee and credit support. In contrast, the poverty and lack of attention of the government prevent small semi-subsistence farmers to improve their performance. But reducing harvest and postharvest losses is critically essential for improving food security of small (semi)subsistence farmers and poor rural households for which cereals and tubers/roots are staple food. Cooperation is needed for both sharing costs of investment in the new technology as well for learning each from the other. In general, farmers need to know, and experience, that a new technology is significantly superior to the existing system, and can provide a secure income. Thus the introduction of a new postharvest technology should use a participatory approach allowing negotiation, conflict mitigation and the creation of consensus among the relevant parties. Technologies for poor farmers should build on the traditional approaches and utilise as much as possible locally available materials.

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Conference Paper/ Presentation
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JEL Codes:
Q13; Q16

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2020-10-28

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