Food loss and waste in India: the knowns and the unknowns

The estimated economic value of post-harvest losses in India was INR 926.51 billion (USD 15.19 billion) in 2014. While this is an underestimation of overall food loss and waste in India, India ranks only 94th out of 107 countries on the 2020 Global Hunger Index. Any amount of food loss and waste is a wasted opportunity to increase food availability, improve income, easing pressure on land and water resources, and reducing GHGs. The paper presents the results of a systematic analysis of 106 peer-reviewed and gray literature publications, as well as consultations with sectoral experts. This study was undertaken by the World Resources Institute India (WRI India) and the Food and Land Use (FOLU) Coalition’s India platform to understand the magnitude of, and identify the hotspots and critical loss points of food loss and waste in India; identify the strategies and interventions implemented to date; highlight the gaps in research, policy, and practice; and suggest some next steps.