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

Abstract: 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.
Publication year 2021
Availability location
Availability number
Organization Name
City Basel
serial title Sustainability
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Author(s) from ARC
External authors (outside ARC)
    Yigezu A. Yigezu ICARDA
    Mohamed M. Mohiy ARC
    Shaimaa E. Ibrahim ARC
    Wael M. Ghanem ARC
    Abdoul-Aziz Niane ICARDA
    Habib Halila ICARDA
Publication Type Journal