Global food wastage- the bane of farmers' existence?
Bangladesh, like many other developing countries, has a very low food waste on a consumer level. This is because most middle class or lower middle class families never even consider the possibility of throwing food away. Surplus food is either divided among extended family or given to poor people nearby.
HOWEVER- despite the fact that food wastage in Bangladesh is low on a consumer level, crop losses during harvest are huge! This, in turn, fuels the suffering of the farmers.
Pre- and post-harvest losses are not negligible in Bangladesh. As a result of the use of traditional harvesting methods coupled with low use of post harvesting techniques, farmers in the country lose on average 7% of Boro and Aman paddy, resulting in approximately Tk2.3bn in losses every year, finds a study of the Rural Development Academy, a state-run organisation.“Seven percent loss in grains may not seem like a terrific figure, but in terms of cash, it is. The country has to suffer a loss of Tk2.3bn every year during the Boro and Aman seasons alone,” said AKM Zakaria, director of agriculture at the Bogra-based RDA.
The research report also mentioned that delayed harvesting could contribute to a huge amount of grain losses, during the reaping, transporting and handling of the harvested crops. The percentage of loss can be between 20% and 60%. “Lack of technology in harvesting and processing level is causing higher production loss in the developing nations like Bangladesh, where investment for that technology is not easy,” said Ahsan Uddin Ahmed, a Bangladeshi environmentalist.
Thus, Bangladeshi farmers lose their livelihood and lands, and they and their families are left on their own to struggle with starvation and misery.
Furthermore, this problem is not only limited to the boundaries of Bangladesh. Such case is true for farmers all over the world- food wastage creates disadvantages to whoever is directly or indirectly related to agriculture.
Such is the pain of the farmers, created by global food wastage.
Being the sole heavy-lifters in fulfilling the responsibility of feeding an entire nation, these farmers do not deserve such early demise. Therefore, actions must be taken to relieve these valuable stakeholders of the global food chain.