Reducing Post-Harvest Losses in India: Farmer-Level Interventions and Grain Management Strategies

Globally 30 percent of the food produced never reaches to a human stomach (FAO, 2021). Tackling food loss and waste benefits the climate, food security, and sustainability of agri-food systems. India suffers a food loss of about Rs. 1.53 lakh crores (USD 18.5 billion) every year as per the latest large-scale study conducted by NABCONs during 2020 to 2022 (NABCONS,2022). In this context, Part-1 of the report examines both the quantity and quality losses for paddy, wheat, maize, and soybean in selected states. Drawing upon extensive data gathered through 1200 farmers surveys, this section sheds light on the underlying determinants of post-harvest losses at farmers’ level. By pointing areas of inefficiency, Part-1 lays the groundwork for targeted interventions aimed at improving post-harvest management practices at farmers’ level. Part-2 extends into a comprehensive analysis of grain management practices by the government, particularly focusing on rice and wheat, which are central to public procurement and public distribution system in India. Through an in-depth examination of the operations of the Food Corporation of India (FCI) and the engagement of other major private sector stakeholders, this part of the report offers insights into existing grain storage infrastructure in India. By identifying best practices and areas for improvement, Part-2 serves as a roadmap for enhancing the efficiency of the grain management systems in India.