A third of food produced in the world is lost before reaching the market. In Africa, at least Sh400b worth of it is lost every year.
Speaking at the ongoing Africa Green Revolution Forum, Revolution in Africa (Agra) president Dr Agnes Kalibata asked stakeholders to help reduce this huge waste in a bid to address shortage in the continent
She regretted that farmers across the world incur close to 1.3 billion tons in post harvest losses, amount that can feed the continent for 6 years. Currently, the continent produces about 240 million tonnes of food per year.
Kabatila’s concerns comes at the time when World Bank figures show that 95 percent of research investments in the agricultural sector for the past 30 years focused on increasing productivity, with only 5 percent directed to reducing food losses.
‘’Increasing productivity is critical for ensuring global food security, but this may no be sufficient. Let’s prevent food spoilage too’’, she said.
She added that with more than 70 per cent of Africans drawing their livelihoods from agriculture, finding sustainable solutions to this problem holds huge promise for enhancing inclusive economic growth, food security and nutrition.
The Agra President added that scaling simple technologies such as hermetic storage bags can reduce post-harvest losses by up to 50 per cent and significantly increase farmers’ income.
Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) puts global quantitative losses and waste per year are roughly 30 percent for cereals, 40-50 percent for root crops, fruits and vegetables, 20 percent for oil seeds, meat and dairy plus 35 percent for fish
Per capita waste by consumers is between 95-115 kg a year in Europe and North America, while consumers in sub-Saharan Africa, south and south-eastern Asia, each throw away only 6-11 kg a year.