INTERNATIONAL DAY OF AWARENESS OF FOOD LOSS AND WASTE 2021
HOW TO REDUCE FOOD WASTE 101.
29th September 2019 is the second International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste hosted by the United Nations together with the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and the UN Environmental Policy (UNEP). This is an important issue for a world where chronic hunger is on the rise for many underdeveloped nations. Proper management of food waste is also necessary for agribusinesses to realize Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12, which aims at sustainable production and consumption patterns.
Globally, around 14 percent of food produced is lost between harvest and retail, while an estimated 17 percent of total global food production is wasted (11 percent in households, 5 percent in the food service and 2 percent in retail).
Firstly, what causes so much food to go to waste?
The Primary reason for the generation of food waste during production is the mismatch between demand and supply. When the production of food is more than what is required, agribusinesses and farmers are unable to find a market for the surplus or use it for other purposes.
Secondly, the surplus also takes up storage and other resources to keep it from rotting in the warehouses. This leads to unexpected expenses and loss.
Finally, how do we solve this problem?
- Set up cold chains in the entire supply chain that can keep the food fresh for a longer period of time or until it is consumed.
- Cultivate crops/varieties that have more shelf life and are consumed more in the locality.
- Staggered sowing/planting so that the crop does not come into harvest at the same time and cause glut in the market.
- Forecast planning to give you visibility of how much of what is coming into the market a few months ahead of time. This can help plan logistics or strengthen the marketing plan to push surplus into a location of deficit.
Option 1 is a very expensive solution and is not sustainable in the long run. Options 2 , 3 & 4 do not involve costs, conserve resources and are more sustainable.
But how can these get implemented in the field?
The answer lies in an improved agricultural system that is powered by the latest Agtech resources. To be more specific.
A Farm Management Software (FMS) can help align the supply with the demand by advising each farmer in the locality to produce how much of which crop/variety and when. The advanced data analytics technology used in a farm management software can predict when and how much of each crop is coming into harvest according to the input of resources. This is priceless information to help plan the consumption or the marketing of the harvested produce. This helps you to program your cultivation activity to produce the required amount of crop, no more no less.
This system has many advantages that can put an end to food waste and loss in any stage of production. Some of them are:
- Funds and Resources can be allocated according to the required resources for the expected output.
- Appropriate storage and transport facilities can be arranged in advance for the expected yield.
- A Farm Management Software can find the right variety of crop to be cultivated that is resilient to long distance hauls and refrigeration.
- Even if an unforeseen surplus yield is harvested a Farm Software can be used to determine the right storage/reuse options in an economic manner.
- All the above features lead to the creation of an efficient food system.
A Farm Management Software (FMS) is a very efficient and cost effective way to control food waste and loss during production, transportation and storage. It has the added benefit of increasing efficiency and profitability by avoiding unnecessary expenses. Trace Agtech is a frontline player in this area who can provide customized agritech solutions such as farm-to-fork traceability, sustainability, managing your contract farms with farmers, etc., for your agribusiness.
Trace is well experienced in successfully implementing yield forecasting and other software support for farms and agribusinesses in India and abroad.
Together, let us reduce food waste and strive for a world without hunger.