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March 2008 Series No 5

    West Africa Title II Food Loss Trends

    FY 2000- FY 2006


This report is part of the West Africa Title II Commodity Management Project (WACOM)

    initiated by the West Africa Regional Food for Peace Office (RFFPO) in 1998. WACOM’s goal

    is to help improve the efficiency and impact of Title II food aid commodities monetized in West

    Africa. Its operational objective is to review and compile Cooperating Sponsor (CS) commodity

    and recipient reports to increase the Title II community’s understanding of critical commodity

    management issues in West Africa.

In recent years, great efforts were made by Title II PVOs and the RFFPO in West Africa to

    reduce Title II food losses in the region. The overall food loss rate was reduced from 2.8% in

    FY 2000 to 0.7% in FY 2002. However, since FY 2003, an increase in Title II food losses has

    been observed in West Africa. Several factors are attributed to the increase, particularly Wheat

    Soya Blend (WSB) loss. In order to better understand the causes and pattern of these losses,

    Title II food loss records from FY 2000FY 2006 were reviewed in this study in relation to location, site, country, and commodity type. The value of lost commodities and loss rates and

    trends over time were also analyzed.


In order to complete this report, loss report data from Quarterly Commodity Status Reports,

    Damaged and Misused Commodity Report submitted to the RFFPO by 27 CS programs in 13

    countries, were analyzed. The WACOM database for the FY 2000FY 2006 period was

    reviewed and 4,028 individual food loss records were collected by the RFFPO in Dakar. SPSS,

    Excel, and Eview software were used for data analyses, graphical presentations and

    forecasting/exponential smoothing.



On average, annual opening food stocks for Title II CS programs in the West Africa region

    totaled 27,563 MT. An additional 155,461 MT of Title II food arrived in the region during each

    fiscal year suggesting that a total of 155,461 MT (plus opening stocks) of Title II commodities

    were available in the region per year during the FY 2000-2006 period. Of the total Title II food

    available in the region each year, 144,408 MT or 82% was dispatched/distributed or monetized.

    On average, closing stocks per year of the study period (i.e., food remaining in warehouses)

    amounted to 27,197 MT or 15% of total food availability.

The overall food loss rate--the number of MT of food lost divided by the number of MT of

    food available during the fiscal year--was estimated at an average of 1.6% during the last

    six years. The average vessel loss rate was 1.07% against 0.53% for in-country food loss rate.

    In absolute terms, PVOs reported on average 2,842 MT of commodity losses (i.e., vessel plus in-

    country losses) per year. From FY 2000 to 2006, average vessel and in country food loss in

    West Africa was estimated at 1,666 MT and 1,176 MT, respectively (Table 1).

Table 1: West Africa Title II Commodity Management Statistics (FY 2000-2006)

     Average Quantity


     Initial Stock 27,563

    Total Food Received 155,461

     Total Food Available 177,150

     Total distribution& monetization 144,408

     Final Stock 27,197

     Vessel loss 1,666

     In-Country loss 1,176

     Inventory ratio 17.49%

     Vessel loss rate 1.07%

     Total loss rate 1.60%

Based on the rate of food loss trends observed during FY 2000-2006, vessel losses accounted for

    the majority of total losses. Out of the total average food loss of 2,842 MT, 57% were vessel

    losses, 18% warehouse losses and 11% transit/road losses. The distribution center losses

    represented 9% of the losses and the port losses accounted for 5% of the total food losses (Figure




    (FY 2000 - 2006)Figure 1: Food Loss by Site





    Marine lossPort LossTransit/Road lossWarehouse lossDistribution center loss


- Food Loss by country

As shown in Figure 2, three countries--Ghana, Sierra Leone and Burkina Faso--accounted for

    more than 70% of Title II food losses recorded during the six years. Food losses in Ghana 1 This represented 37% of these losses. In FY 2000, a CS in Ghana reported 2,000 MT of bulk wheat loss rate was 7.1% of the bulk wheat call forwarded. Another PVO in Ghana reported 4% of for monetization was contaminated from a fuel oil spillage during ocean transportation.losses for its direct distribution program. In FY 2001, Ghana presented the highest quantity of

    food loss accounting for 79% of vessel losses.

In FY 2000, Title II CSs in Sierra Leone reported a total loss of 1,327 MT of food--representing

    a total loss rate of 4%, including 3% vessel and 1% in country losses. Vessel food losses

    accounted for 72% of losses. In FY 2001, Title II CSs in Sierra Leone reported a total of 613.42

    MT of food losses. The same CSs declared food losses of 195 MT in FY 2002-2003. In FY

    2006, these PVOs declared 329 MT of food losses with vessels accounting for 295.56 MT of the


    Figure 2: Food loss by Country


    (FY 2000-2006)Sierra Leone







    Cape Verde5Benin0Burkina Faso

    1 In FY 2003, over one-third of in-country food loss value ($133,859) in West Africa was from this PVO. 4

- Loss trend

    As shown in Figure 3, the lowest quantity of food losses was recorded in FY 2002 and FY 2003 and the highest quantity in FY 2000. Substantial efforts were spent by the RFFPO in Dakar to reduce these food losses in West Africa. By FY 2002, these efforts began to produce positive results, whereby the quantity of Title II food loss was reduced to about 1,000 MT as compared to 6,000 MT in FY 2000. However, since FY 2004, increased Title II food loss was observed. This was mainly due to food infestation, particularly fortified foods such as WSB. Between FY 2003 and FY 2007, a loss of 2,637 MT of WSB with a total value of over $1.6 million was recorded in West Africa. The major cause of these losses was due to infestation. These losses occurred mainly from FY 2005-2006.

     WEST AFRICA TITLE II FOOD LOSS Figure 3: Food loss Trend by Location











    Vessel lossIn-Country


- Food loss by commodity type

From FY 2000-2001, bulk wheat loss from Ghana was the major Title II food commodity lost in

    West Africa (Figure 4). From FY 2005-2006, infested WSB comprised the majority of losses.

    Commodities such as rice represented 10-35% of Title II food losses in West Africa annually

    during this period. Rice is stolen most often during port operations or inland transportation in

    Burkina Faso, Benin, and Sierra Leone.












    White riceWhole wheatBulgur wheat

    Soy fortified bulgurWheat Soya blend












    Quantity (MT)

    - Food Loss by Factor

    2Food short landed from vessels remains the major reason for Title II food losses during food

    marine transportation in West Africa. For example, from FY 2004-2006 more than 60% of food marine losses were due to short landing. The second common factor behind vessel food losses in the region is reconditioning or reconstitution of bags after commodity spillage during port operations (Figure 5). Cases of water damage and infested foods were also identified after vessel off load.

    Theft and infestation are the two main causes of in-country Title II food losses in the West Africa region (Figure 6). Contrary to previous years, FY 2005 and FY 2006 were characterized by a high rate of food losses due to infestation. These infested foods (mainly WSB) were identified in Ghana, Mauritania, Senegal and Gambia. During these two years, 50% of the food losses were due to infestation. Food losses during reconditioning/reconstitution were estimated at 10-45% of food losses in West Africa. Food theft represented less than 10% from FY 2005-2006 as compared to over 50% in the FY 2000-2002 period.

    The distribution of in-country food losses causes varies according to countries. In Ghana and Benin, infestation was the main cause of in-country food losses. Food infestation in Ghana was related to the quality of the WSB. However, in Benin, WSB infestation was due to a long

    2 Short landed is the difference between what was loaded at the origin and what arrived at destination.



     duration of food storage in distribution center warehouses. For example in FY 2005, about 78 In that regard, it is noteworthy that according to FY 2005 WACOM data, 25% or 417 MT of the MT of infested food was discovered in distribution centers; most of the food had remained in total Title II in-country food lost in FY 2005 had been stored in warehouses for six months. warehouses for more than 12 months.About 65% (1,119 MT) of the lost commodities in FY 2005 had remained in warehouses for 7-

    12 months. Furthermore, around 10% (176 MT) of these in-country food losses were stored in

    warehouses for more than 12 months. About half (53%) of the food which had remained in

    warehouses for more than 12 months were collected in central warehouses--compared to 31%

    during inland transportation and 15% in end-use distribution centers. It is likely that food losses

    at distribution centers could be much lower if proper distribution center monitoring was

    conducted. The review indicates that--assuming that the in-country food loss rate is

    proportional to CSs’s food inventory and not taking into account WSB infestation--

    annually around 30% of Title II food commodities remain in the warehouses of

    implementing partners for more than 12 months before eventually reaching beneficiaries.

Figure 6: Vessel Loss Value by Factor














    UnfitWater damage

    Short landing

3 This problem was subsequently identified and addressed by the PVO’s regional commodity manager.



    Figure 7: In Country Loss Value by Factor













    UnfitWater damage

    Short landing


- Food loss value and rate

Food losses expressed as a dollar value or as a percentage of total program value were more than

    $2 million in FY 2000 and have fallen to about $500,000 in FY 2002-2003. However, since FY

    2004, Title II food losses have increased in the region mainly due to WSB infestation.

Expressed as a percentage of total value of the foods received, total loss rates have declined from

    2% in FY 2000 to 0.82% in FY 2002 (see Figure 8). These rates have increased since FY 2003

    and reached 2% in FY 2006. WEST AFRICA TITLE II FOOD LOSS TREND

    Figure 8: Loss Value and Rate Trend








    Loss valueLoss rate


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