Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Food Wastage: Is India Ready To Tackle This Peril? | AIB

Too much food being thrown away

Food wastage is becoming a grave concern in the world right now. According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), annually one-third of the food produced is wasted costing the global economy about $750 billion. It said that 1.3 billion tons of food every year wasted and it impacts directly on our nature. It is an excess in an age in which almost one billion people go hungry and represents a loss of labor, water, energy, land and other inputs used in the production of these foods.

The loss and waste of food refer to its decline in the successive stages of the food supply chain destined for human consumption. Food is lost or wasted during the supply chain, from initial production to final household consumption. The decline may be accidental or intentional but ultimately leads to less food availability for all. When food is lost or spoiled before reaching its final product phase or retail sale, we are talking about a loss of food. This may be due to problems in the infrastructure and logistics shortfalls, lack of technology, lack of skills, knowledge and management skills of the actors involved In the food chain, or to the operational restrictions that may arise from legal regulations.

India is a vital contributor on account of both pre and post harvest waste in cereals, pulses, fruits and vegetables.The Government of India has made a lot of efforts to control the food wastage, but the clear reason behind this is inappropriate supply chain management and lack of basic facility to store the foods. As per a survey by IIM Kolkata, only 10% foods get cold storage facility in India. 

In order make progress, the Authorities must also concentrate on food processing technologies that are both advanced and affordable so that food storage practices can be encouraged thereby saving food from wastage. India should also take the lead from global practices that are both different and innovative to tackle food wastage problem. For instance, France has reached unanimous legislation requiring supermarkets to either give unsold food to charity or send it to farmers for use as feed and fertilizer.

It concludes that saving one-fourth of the food currently lost or wasted globally would be sufficient to sustain 870 million hungry people in the world. It is our right to eat the food not to waste it.

So I hope better sense prevails for the Government in addressing this foretelling of food waste!

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