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Project: TAFSSA: Transforming Agri-Food Systems in South Asia

TAFSSA is a One CGIAR regional integrated initiative to support actions that improve equitable access to sustainable healthy diets, improve farmers’ livelihoods and resilience, and conserve land, air, and water resources in South Asia.

Prof Manoj Dora speaking to a vegetable farmer in a field in Naland, Bihar, India

Multi-national research and impact

TAFSSA will conduct research, and create change through a wide range of public and private partners and stakeholders in India, Bangladesh and Nepal.

Right: Prof Manoj Dora speaking to a vegetable farmer on an exposure visit to Naland, Bihar, India.

Visit the main TAFSSA website

South Asia’s agricultural systems are dominated by millions of smallholders. Most are unable to participate in markets due to diseconomies of scale, weak market linkages, unsustainable supply chains, and high price fluctuations, which lead to low farm diversification and compromised farmer incomes.

This transdisciplinary research seeks to map the impact of food waste across the different stakeholders in the tomato, rice and fish value chain (VC) in India, Bangladesh and Nepal using "lean thinking" principles.

This new sustainability dimension of mapping the impact of food waste will contribute to both academic knowledge and improve industrial performance.

The specific objectives of our work package are to:

  1. Construct a sustainability performance matrix for encapsulating the economic, social, and environmental indicators as well as Key Performance Indicators for identifying, assessing, and benchmarking food waste across the food VC.
  2. Extend the Value Stream Mapping (VSM) method to systematically map the impact of food waste on economic, social, and environmental performances and different stakeholders, while integrating a sustainability strategy based on "lean thinking".
  3. Create a management tool kit based on the outputs of the sustainability performance matrix. This will be tailored to help various stakeholders (farmers, transporters, processors, and retailers) along the supply chain understand the external costs of food waste and manage it more effectively.

TAFSSA therefore aims to:

  1. Generate insights to improve access to inputs and marketability of sustainably produced and nutritious food.
  2. Create favourable environments for diversification by linking smallholders, particularly women and marginalized groups, to supply chains through aggregation models.
  3. Improve access to healthy food for the poor through changes in food retail environments.