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COVID-19 increases loss of fresh food in low-income countries

ByMicheal Johnson

Oct 3, 2020

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) alerted this Monday that the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in increased disposable food waste in numerous low-income countries.

According to FAO data, This scenario happens at a time when customers are just purchasing carbohydrate-containing foods and non-perishable products instead of temporary products.

The physical distancing procedures embraced in some countries, which triggered a decline in the number of clients in the marketplaces, was another of the aspects that served to increase food losses and a decline in the earnings of traders.

According to FAO information prior to the pandemic, vegetables and fruit losses on farms in sub-Saharan Africa totaled up to 50%, the greatest in the world, while those of Cereals and pulses were approximated at 18%, a world record shown Asia.

The UN body remembers that “when food is lost or wasted, all the resources used to produce it are also wasted, such as water, land, energy, labor and money invested.”

Sub-Saharan Africa as an example

FAO approximates that food losses in sub-Saharan Africa total up to $ 4 billion each year.

But if we broaden the field of view to all of Africa we will see that the large bulk of food losses happen in between harvest and point of sale, because the food waste of the customers after obtaining the food is extremely low.

Among the primary causes of food loss in Africa are the absence of cold chain centers, specifically for disposable items, undependable and insufficient storage centers, and an absence of farming processing understanding in neighborhoods of little farmers.

“The COVID-19 pandemic sparked a wake-up call on the need to radically transform our food systems to make them more efficient and sustainable for people and the planet. Addressing food loss and waste in Africa, and elsewhere In particular, the reduction of post-harvest losses is essential to achieve that goal, “stated Deputy Director-General and FAO Regional Representative for Africa, Abebe Haile-Gabriel, on the eve of the worldwide day.

To honor the very first International Food Loss and Waste Awareness Day Governments and decision-makers are asked to assign financial investments and develop rewards to promote food loss decrease strategies.

The United Nations General Assembly in 2015 designated September 29 as International Food Loss and Waste Awareness Day.

FAO released a brand-new Web page on the event of the anniversary where he describes that worldwide around 14% of the food produced is lost in between harvest and retail sale.

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