2 Replies Latest reply on Jul 21, 2015 8:36 AM by Joannes Chapot

    Roads, railways and research can stop global food waste

      "One-quarter of all the food in the world is lost each year, owing to inefficient harvesting, inadequate storage, and wastage in the kitchen. Halve that waste, and the world could feed an extra billion people – and make hunger yesterday’s problem.

      (...)


      There are many remedies for this kind of waste – from the “curing” of roots and tubers to minimize damage, to more expensive refrigeration. So why aren’t these technologies – widely used in richer countries – adopted in the developing world?


      The answer is a lack of infrastructure. If there are no proper roads linking fields to markets, farmers cannot easily sell their surplus produce, which may then spoil before it can be eaten. Improving road and rail capacity enables farmers to reach buyers – and fertilizer and other agricultural inputs to reach farmers. Supplying reliable electricity permits grains to be dried and vegetables to be kept cool.


      Economists from the International Food Policy Research Institute estimate that the overall cost of approximately halving post-harvest losses in the developing world would be $239 billion over the next 15 years – and would generate benefits worth more than $3 trillion, or $13 of social benefits for every dollar spent.


      This would make food more affordable for the poor. By 2050, better infrastructure could mean that 57 million people – more than the current population of South Africa – would no longer be at risk of hunger, and that about four million children would no longer suffer from malnutrition. Most of these gains would be in sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia, the world’s most deprived regions. (…) »


      Source: Roads, railways and research can stop global food waste | Global Development Professionals Network | The Guardian