Insufficient processing facilities, poor storage and low market accessibility are the factors fuelling post-harvest loss in Africa. Most writers refer to food loss as anything lost between production and distribution, while food waste is anything lost at the consumer level. However, the term “post-harvest food loss” is often used to refer to food loss and food waste (FLW). In sub-Saharan Africa, post-harvest food losses are estimated to be worth 4 billion dollars per year- or enough to feed at least 48 billion people.
Source: UN WFP (World Food Program) USA
In 2015, the United Nations announced a goal of halving worldwide food waste and substantially reducing global food loss by 2030 as part of its Sustainable Development Goals agenda. The reasons for the renewed interest in post-harvest food loss reduction in Sub-Saharan Africa are best understood by the multifaceted objectives underpinning the goal announced by the UN.
Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. (Committee on world food security, 2009)
Food loss and food waste, over the years, have greatly impaired food availability, accessibility, utilization and stability. These four pillars are the major components that define food security. Reducing food loss apparently increase the quantity of food available. This means there is physical inflow and presence of safe and nutritious food at a particular time and place.
One of the components of food security is whether an individual or household have access to food. An increase in food supply, Certrris paribus, should translate into a reduction in price for consumers. Since food deterioration is also a form of food loss and food waste; the nutrient composition of food and the ability of a body to effectively utilize it, is a major factor in food security. Food may be available and accessible to people who are able to utilize it effectively, but this state needs to be long lasting and permanent, rather than being temporary and fluctuating.
Reducing food loss and food waste — post harvest food loss will not only improve food security, but also improve food safety, reduce wasted resources and increase profits along the food supply chain. Everyone needs to do their bit in reducing post- harvest loss. Farmers should also see to damages caused by pest and disease. However, government can also help subside farm input and storage facilities necessary for effective production. Adoption of technology is also a way to mitigate post-harvest loss; government should invariably support agric-tech companies in providing huge market accessibility for farmers, in other to obliterate food loss along the distribution chain.
It is a fact that “there is enough food to feed everyone on the planet yet 12% of the world live in hunger”, hence there is need for innovation in distribution. That is what we want to solve at DayDone Limited by introducing an effective food distribution where necessity such as food will no longer be at the reach of only the few. That is how we believe we can make our world a better place.
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