Research on food losses and waste in North Africa
Background: Food losses and food waste represent an emerging problem with enormous economic, environmental, and social implications. Therefore, the reduction of food wastage is considered a promising strategy, not only to achieve food security but also to improve the food system sustainability. Food wastage is a serious issue also in North Africa region. Aims: This paper provides an overview on research dealing with food losses and waste (FLW) in North Africa (Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia). Methods and Material: A systematic review was carried out in January 2018 using Scopus database. Issues addressed in the systematic review include geography of research on FLW in North Africa (i.e. countries considered or underserved), bibliometric parameters (e.g. journals, institutions) as well as thematic focus (agricultural loss, food waste). Selected records were also interrogated to see if they address the extent of FLW, the relation between food wastage and food security, economic implications of FLW, and environmental footprints of FLW. Results: The results show that research on FLW is still marginal in North Africa in general and in Libya and Mauritania in particular. Moreover, while there are some interesting pieces of research on the amount of FLW, environmental and economic impacts of FLW as well as their implications in terms of food security are largely overlooked. Conclusions: Therefore, North African researchers should pay more attention to food wastage issue. Such an endeavor should be supported by research policy in North Africa.
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