2016 Training Course - Losses along Food Value Chains

Event Date
Accra, Ghana

AGRODEP, with support from the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM), is pleased to announce a training course on Losses Along Food Value Chains as part of the AGRODEP Value Chain Analysis Virtual Hub. 

Applications for this series will be accepted until August 19, 2016. Course outline and description are subject to change.


Food loss and waste occurs at different points along the food value chain: in production, post-production, processing, distribution and consumption. Although estimates of food loss and waste vary by commodity and by country, most assessments indicate that these losses are quite significant. At the global level, recent estimates of food loss and waste range from 27 percent to 32 percent of all food produced worldwide. The FAO estimates cereal losses at anywhere from 19 to 32 percent while that for fruits and vegetables range from 37 to 55 percent.

With the renewed attention to food security issues that stemmed from the rise in food prices in the last decade came renewed interest in addressing food loss and waste. Reducing food loss and waste will contribute to improved food availability and food access and to the reduction of many negative economic and environmental impacts. The importance of this goal is evident in its inclusion as a target in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which calls for halving global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reducing food losses along the value chain by 2030.

Accurate measurement is a critical component in achieving the goal of reducing food loss and waste. Firstly, this will require a standard definition, terminology and methodology for measuring food loss and waste, using a value chain approach. Both quantitative and qualitative food loss along the value chain, as well as discretionary food waste in processing, distribution, and retail sectors should be captured in the measurement methodology.  Appropriate measurement strategies must be tailored for developing vs developed countries.

This training course aims to provide the participants with an understanding of the key concepts and issues related to food loss and waste along value chains and the methodological approaches employed in its measurement. Participants will also learn about a proposed methodology that accounts for Potential Food Loss and Waste (PFLW) along the value chain and its recent application to a few commodities, e.g. beans, maize, and potatoes.  The practical application of the measurement methodology through surveys of producers, intermediaries, and processors will also be provided.

Course Outline

Part 1: Key Concepts, Evidence, and Methodology (1.5 days)

  1. Introduction
    • Defining food loss and waste
    • Measurement and Interpretation
      • Macro approach
      • Micro approach
  2. Review of Evidence: Causes and Magnitudes
    • Causes – micro and micro level
    • Magnitudes
      • Commodities
      • Countries/Country Groups
  3. Measurement of Potential Food Loss and Waste (PFLW)
    • Conceptual Framework
    • Survey Methodology
    • Recent Examples – beans, maize, potatoes, wheat

Part 2: Practical Application (1.5 days)

  1. Survey Methodology
  2. Programming the Survey
  3. Statistical Analysis of Data


The course is appropriate for participants with a background in economic, agricultural economics, and quantitative analysis. Previous experience in value chain analysis is required.


In order to apply for this course, AGRODEP members must complete the following by August 19, 2016:

If you would like to practice using Stata before taking the proficiency test, please review the modules below. Information included covers Stata use for beginners, linear regressions, bivariate regressions, and panel data. You will need to know this information to successfully complete the test.


Maximo Torero is the Division Director of the Markets, Trade, and Institutions Division (MTID) at IFPRI. He is also the leader of the Global Research Program on Institutions and Infrastructure for Market Development, and Director for IFPRI Latin America. He has fifteen years of experience in applied research and in operational activities. In his capacity as a director and research program leader, he directs the activities of an IFPRI unit that conducts research, with special emphasis on M&E of infrastructure and rural development interventions in urban and peri-urban areas through the use of randomized experimental design. Prior to joining IFPRI, he was a senior researcher and member of the executive committee at Group of Analysis for Development (GRADE). He received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Los Angeles, Department of Economics and held a postdoctoral fellow position at the UCLA Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR). He is also a professor on leave at the Universidad del Pacífico, and Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at University of Bonn, Germany.

Monica Schuster is a Post-doctoral Researcher Fellow at the Institute for Development Policy and Management (IOB) of the University of Antwerp. She holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural and Development Economics from the University of Leuven, Belgium and a M.Sc. Degree in Economics and Social Sciences from L. Bocconi University in Milan, Italy. In her research work she studies the development and welfare effects of the rise of modern food supply chains and their interaction with traditional value chains. She is currently working on a post-harvest losses project in Honduras. Prior to her Ph.D. she worked as a Young Professional for the German International Cooperation (GIZ) in Northern Uganda.

Luciana Delgado is a Research Assistant at the Markets, Trade, and Institutions Division (MTID) at IFPRI. She is currently working on a post-harvest losses project in Ecuador, Honduras, Ethiopia and China, as well as the IFPRI Food Security Portal and value chains projects. She is from Peru. She received an Engineer degree in Agronomy from the National Agrarian La Molina University in Peru in 2011. Prior to joining IFPRI, Luciana worked as a Researcher in the Latin America International Zinc Association (LATIZA) for 2 years.