How many of the world's crops are we losing?

Lost crops impact on health, livelihoods and national economies. There is an urgent need for evidence to help prioritise research and policy in plant health. Despite this, data on the scale and causes of crop loss are sparse and outdated. 

The Global Burden of Crop Loss will provide outputs, based on data, that will be communicable across sectors and geographies.

We are losing our crops to....

...but by how much? And how does this vary between crops and geographies?

To ensure enough food is available for generations to come, we need to produce far more food than we are currently. It is estimated that an increase in food production of 25-100% will be required by 2050. At the same time, we need to limit the environmental impact of food production. These problems can be addressed by significantly reducing current levels of crop loss, by improving the management of insects, weeds and diseases.

 Despite the clear need for action, there is a distinct lack of evidence and clear communication to decision-makers. Hindering their capacity to make informed choices about where to target their efforts.

Developing a data driven system to describe the scale and causes of crop loss

  • The Global Burden of Crop Loss will provide evidence on impacts, causes, and risk factors of crop pests
  •  Evidence based outputs will allow policymakers and funding bodies to target their efforts to improve global food production

Building a community of collaborators and stakeholders

  • A network of collaborators will be developed to ensure that the Global Burden of Crop Loss products high quality outputs

Collecting, validating and analysing data on the impact of crop pests, diseases and abiotic stresses

  • To deliver the Global Burden of Crop Loss we will be working with our collaborators to gather and analyse data from a wide variety of sources

As part of the initial 18-month Bill and Melinda Gates, Grand Challenges Call to Action project, we aim to build a research and data collection network, define rigorous metrics, evaluate analytical methods, assess the data landscape, and develop a results dissemination framework.

Based on on the outputs from the scoping project we will agree on an implementation plan with key stakeholders and formally launch the initiative as part of the International Year of Plant Health in 2020. 

We aim to complete initial estimates in the next 3 to 4 years. To show the world the magnitude of the challenge and most importantly where investments in plant health should be prioritised.