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In a new document released on World Environmental Day on Wednesday, UN researchers more than 75 per cent of the food we produce annually in sub-Sahara ends up ‘wasted’ after harvesting and during storage.
The report, Reducing Food Loss and Waste, prepared by the World Resources Institute, calls for a kind of food wastage ‘protocol’ or universal standards among nations to tame the growing danger of continual food shortage in future.
While developing nations like Kenya need urgent solutions to avoid famine situations like that of 2011, the document says there could be one step forward and two steps backward if storage of the food produced is not preserved.
“The world needs urgent solutions to feed its growing population and reducing loss and waste is a critical piece toward a more sustainable food future,” Craig Hanson, the co-author of the paper told UNEP Bulletin on Wednesday.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), about 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted across the world.
This is more than a third of the total food produced annually and is equivalent to amount of food required to feed sub-Sahara in a year.
In his goodwill message to the world, UNEP executive director Achim Steiner said it would be the responsibility of everyone to campaign against food wastage.
“Everyone, from farmers and food companies to retailers, shipping lines, packagers, hotels, restaurants and households, has a role to play and contribute to eradicating inequalities in rich and poor countries,” he said.
This year’s theme was ‘Think. Eat. Save'; a campaign against food wastage in a world where population is growing by the day.
The UN seeks to encourage people to go back to their traditional ways of preserving food such as the use of ash and smoke.
In Kenya for example, UNEP acknowledges the efforts by the Turkana who preserve milk by turning it into powder by drying clots, and the Kikuyu who preserve meat by first roasting it and applying natural honey on it.
Several other communities like the Luhya protect cereals by mixing ash with water and sprinkling on the maize to prevent insects from attacking the grains.
UNEP argues this method is affordable to many poor farmers around the country and can preserve food for a longer time.
PARASTATAL heads who signed the Mombasa port community charter risk being sacked if their agencies do not deliver on the contents of the new entity. The charter signed between the government and the private sector aims at improving the movement of cargo from the port into hinterland