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2017 Food Sustainability Index : Food loss and waste marks Morocco’s performance

Morocco is ranked 29th by the 2017 Food and Sustainability Index. An average performance for the Kingdom accused of allowing food loss and waste.

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The 2017 Food and Sustainability Index warns Morocco gainst food waste./Ph. DR

As Muslims around the world are about to welcome Ramadan, food consumption increases in the Arab World and in Morocco, respectively. The holy month is marked by the worrying numbers of wasted food.

The idea was proven right by the 2017 Food Sustainability Index (FSI), a survey conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition Foundation (BCFN).

Pulished in December 2017, the index ranks Morocco 29th out of the 34 countries taken into consideration. With a total score of 53.9 points out of 100, the Kingdom ranks fourth in the Bottom Quartile category behind Saudi Arabia (57.8 points), Egypt (57.1 points) and Brazil (56.6 points) and ahead of Tunisia (53.1 points), Lebanon (53.1 points), Indonesia (52.4 points), India (50.8 points) and the United Arab Emirates (40.3 points).

Food waste

The food index is based mainly on three indicators, food loss and waste, sustainable agriculture and nutritional challenges. «Morocco’s ranking is affected by a comparatively weak performance in food loss and waste (31st), while Tunisia has significant room for improvement in sustainable agriculture (33rd), in particular», wrote the authors of the report.

The survey explains that this «reflects a combination of climatic factors (such as drought), poor transport infrastructure and inadequate storage and refrigeration facilities. The policy response in terms of addressing end-user food waste is also generally weak—especially in Morocco and Lebanon».

«As far as Morocco is concerned, the government—supported by the FAO—is planning to develop an action plan aimed at halving FLW by 2024.»

Insufficient support for sustainable agriculture

In terms of sustainable agriculture, Morocco, like Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt and Tunisia «trail down the rankings in this section of the ISP». «Soil erosion and low soil fertility—together with shortages of freshwater—represent serious constraints on agriculture in all of these countries», say the report's authors. Morocco occupies, indeed, the 11th place in the ranking with a score of 60.6 points.

The document estimates that the Moroccan agricultural sector is still «facing the agricultural sector in the SEMCs generally, including regular droughts, soil degradation, intensive cropping under irrigation and problems with land registration».

Nutritional deficits, a real problem for Moroccans

Once again, Morocco, alongside Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt, rank in the last four places in the FSI regional rankings. «Undernourishment is a major problem in all four countries, but is particularly severe in Egypt and Lebanon», say the report's authors.

«Morocco performs especially poorly with respect to micronutrient deficiencies (both Vitamin A and iodine). This factors more than offsets Morocco’s superior performance (compared with Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt) in terms of the prevalence of overweight children».

As for the nutritional challenges category, Morocco is at the bottom of the ranking, with a score of only 53.6 points. «In Morocco, nutrient deficiencies are a major problem, particularly among women and children, amid a lack of food diversity and an overreliance on sugar, refined flour and fatty foods», concludes the report.

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