Recently, Visual.ly came up with a video which talks about the food wastage and its effect.
It is interesting to note that US and Europe, which are considered to be much more advanced than countries such as India and China when it comes to managing agricultural supply-chain, are loosing more than 50% of the agro produce between the farm and the fork. However, this number has a high share of wastage at home and restaurant. If you leave aside those, the number is 18-20%, which clearly shows a case of excess wherein a high volume of voluntary wastage of food is being ignored.
Talking specifically about India, although voluntary wastage used to be very less, we are loosing 40% of our agricultural produce (costing 58,000 Crore Rupees or $10 Billion) due to inefficiencies in agricultural practices, storage & warehousing and processing losses. Considering that food production is responsible for 70 per cent of fresh water consumption, 80 per cent of deforestation, and 30 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions, the overall loss to the country is much higher. And, all of this is coming at a time when 1/5th of the overall population and 1/2 of the under-five child population suffers from malnutrition.
With Urban India’s changing food habits, increasing amount of food is going to the garbage through restaurants, retail shops & processors (since all non-uniform produce are thrown away) and modern kitchens, showing a trend towards voluntary wastage or a ‘story of excess’.
With ‘a story of excess’ and ‘a story of inefficiency’ hitting Indian agricultural ecosystem at both ends, do you think that we can sustain for long?