From Farm to Fork:
With food prices on the rise and food security challenges being faced by a number of developing regions (Figure 1), the question of how to feed growing populations is a key concern of the international community. Efforts to increase food production in developing countries have achieved important successes through collaborative multistakeholder platforms, including the World Economic Forum’s New Vision for Agriculture initiative and Grow Africa partnership (Box 1).13 However, in a world where scarce resources and climate-change challenges curb the potential for continued production increases, post-harvest food-loss-reduction has a key role to play in achieving food security.
Figure 1: Increasing Prices and Low Self-sufficiency Threaten Food Security for Low-income Countries
Sources: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), “Who Are the Net Food Importing Countries?” World Bank, January 200814
Despite the importance of reducing post-harvest losses, governments and donors have directed limited resources towards this goal.15 In light of this, the Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Logistics & Supply Chain Systems has championed the research for this report. Linking the Forum’s Enabling Trade and New Vision for Agriculture initiatives, as well as the Grow Africa partnership, this report aims to raise global awareness and understanding of the impact that supply chain barriers have on the movement of food, particularly in developing countries. It attempts to answer several questions: What are the impacts of supply chain barriers on three specific value chains and, by extension, the agricultural sector more generally? What costs do they impose, and what is their contribution to food loss? What solutions exist, and what is required for successful implementation of those solutions?
Improving agricultural supply chains will require increased dialogue and collaboration among leaders from government, civil society and the private sector. As such, this report is targeted towards ministries of agriculture, trade, transport, health and finance, as well as business leaders from agribusiness, logistics, transport and retail communities. All of these stakeholders have an important role to play in facilitating the efficient movement of food on its journey “from farm to fork”.
Box 1: The World Economic Forum’s New Vision for Agriculture initiative and Grow Africa partnership
The Forum’s New Vision for Agriculture initiative is a global platform that facilitates public-private collaboration to realize a vision of agriculture as a driver of food security, environmental sustainability and economic opportunity. The initiative collaborates on a global level with the G8 and G20, and has catalysed country-level, public-private partnership initiatives in 14 countries across Asia, Latin America and Africa. A regional partnership is jointly convened with the African Union and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) to accelerate investments and transformative change in alignment with the national plans of African countries. The New Vision for Agriculture initiative is led by a broad network of 33 global companies in collaboration with 14 governments, working with international organizations, civil society, academic and farmers’ organizations worldwide to advance an action-oriented agenda. Together, these efforts have mobilized over US$ 5 billion in investment commitments and are projected to engage over 13 million smallholder farmers in the next three to five years.