In the developing world, it is not consumers that cause the waste, but the losses at harvest and post-harvest. The solution is building reliable road, rail and electrical infrastructure, which means better market access, allowing more investment in e.g. refrigeration.
As reported by Reuters around the world, this will cost $240B over the next 15 years but reduce the number of hungry people by 57m, and avoid malnourishment of 4m children. This generates $13 of benefits per dollar spent â€“ a very good return.
But it turns out there is an even better food target: an extra $88 billion in agricultural research and development over the next 15 years will increase yield growth by an additional 0.4% each year. For each dollar spent, this will achieve $34 of social benefits. It will save 79m people from hunger and avoid 5m children being malnourished.
Food Security and Nutrition
Benefit for Every Dollar Spent
Reduce post harvest losses by 10 percentage points
Here, Copenhagen Consensus Center has just released its latest research on Food Security and Nutrition targets for the post-2015 development agenda. Mark W. Rosegrant, Director, Environment and Production Technology Division at International Food Policy Research Institute and colleagues Eduardo Magalhaes, Rowena A. Valmonte-Santos and Daniel Mason-Dâ€™Croz write the main report, peer-reviewed in a perspective paper by Christopher B. Barrett, Professor of Economics, at Cornell University. Additionally, NGOs and stakeholders such as International Institute for Environment and Development and The Hunger Project Uganda present viewpoint papers concerning Rosegrant, Magalhaes, Valmont-Santos, and Mason-Dâ€™Crozâ€™s analysis.
A stand-alone study on nutrition for this series, written by Susan Horton, University of Waterloo and John Hoddinott, Cornell University, was previously released in late 2014.
PhD and Adjunct Professor
President of Copenhagen Consensus Center
PS. The Post-2015 Consensus project brings together 60 teams of economists with NGOs, international agencies and businesses to identify the targets with the greatest benefit-to-cost ratio for the UN's post-2015 development goals. If you have questions about the project, send an email to Research Project Manager Brad Wong by replying to this email.