Food loss measurements in the rice supply chain of Olam Nigeria: Analysis of the pilot study results

Research output: Book/ReportReportProfessional


Wageningen University & Research (WUR) and the Sustainable Food Lab established a partnership with Olam to run a pilot study to measure and assess the losses that occur throughout a portion of Olam’s rice outgrower initiative in Nigeria. The following report documents the process and results of the conducted pilot study where we assessed the magnitude of loss within a sample of 60 rice outgrower farms from 3 states by measuring losses from the moment rice is harvested until the moment rice is received in Olam’s procurement warehouse. The pilot study has been conducted within the context of a collaborative action research project, “Business Action on Smallholder Crop Losses in African Food Systems” funded by the Rockefeller Foundation’s Yieldwise initiative. The general objectives of this pilot study were centered around understanding the magnitude and impact of losses occurring in the rice outgrowers initiative to assess: •How much losses occur in the rice outgrower value chain operated by Olam in Nigeria; •Where the critical loss points are within the different stages in the rice value chain; •What the impact of those losses might be in terms of economics, resource use efficiency and GHGs; •Potential investment areas to reduce losses; •Testing the measurement approach for business value and replication across other Olam’s rice origins. Data from this pilot study indicate that on average there is a total loss of 35% of rice from the moment that it is harvested up to the moment when rice is graded and sorted and is accepted by Olam’s procurement warehouse. Data showed that the percentage of loss varied strongly from farm to farm, with losses ranging from 8% up to 55%. Two critical loss points within the Rice value chain were identified :•12% of losses of actual yield are generated during harvest ; •11% of losses of actual yield are generated during threshing.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationWageningen
PublisherWageningen University & Research
Number of pages43
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019

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