It is estimated that saving one-fourth of the food currently lost or wasted globally would be enough to feed 870 million hungry people in the world.
Op-Ed by Shyam Khadka, FAO's representative in India:
Agriculture, along with its allied sectors, is the largest source of livelihood in India. About 82 per cent of the country’s farmers are small and marginal, having holdings less than one hectare. Over the years, irrigation potential has increased largely due to increased access to precious groundwater. However, 60 per cent of our agricultural land is still primarily rain-fed.
A challenge for the Indian agricultural sector today is to feed its ever-growing population, even though India’s foodgrain production has kept steady pace with its population. Total foodgrain production during 2015-16 was estimated at 252.23 million tonnes, five times higher compared to 50 million tonnes in 1950-51.
However, adequate food production is not sufficient to ensure food security. Not all food produced is consumed, as an enormous amount of food is lost or wasted. A 2011 Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report puts this figure at one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year, which is approximately 1.3 billion tonnes.
It is estimated that saving one-fourth of the food currently lost or wasted globally would be enough to feed 870 million hungry people in the world, of which the highest number (about 194.6 million) are in India. Maximum food loss happens during transit from farm to fork, especially to urban markets. These losses not only impact producers with reduced income and consumers with increased costs, but also challenge overall food security.
Read the full piece at https://www.downtoearth.org.in/blog/food/reducing-food-waste-vital-for-india-s-food-security-57345