A shocking report on food wastage has revealed that India wastes 67 million tonne food every year. The study conducted by Ciphet, the farm ministry’s harvest-research body says the food wasted is more than the national output of countries such as Britain and enough to feed a state like Bihar, for a year.
According to a Hindustan Times report, the value of food lost is Rs 92,000 crore which is nearly two-thirds of the total amount what government needs to feed 600 million Indians using subsidised ration under the National Food Security programme. Food wastage in turn also fuels inflation and further hurts farmers’ returns on the crop.
According to the United Nations Development Programme, up to 40% of the food produced in India is wasted. Fruits, vegetables and pulses are wasted the most as they have a short shelf life and are prone to rotting. Gluts, pests, weather and lack of modern storage are the other reasons for wastage.
Besides that, a lot of food also gets wasted during transportation. It was found that around one million tonnes of onion, 2.2 million tonne of tomatoes get lost during transport from the farms to the markets and over 5 million eggs would get cracked or go bad during transport.
What is the solution?
To reduce the gigantic wastage of food, the report also suggests taking strong measures as these:
- Setting up on-farm training mechanisms.
- Investing in cold storages.
- Facilitating smooth transfer of produce from farm to the market.
- Standardising food sorting processes.