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24 July 2016

UN demands more action from African gov’ts

AfricaOfficials of the United Nations are demanding more effective measures from African governments to deal with the post-harvest loss of food.

Spokesperson of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Nick Nutall says this is crucial to ensure a sustainable food supply chain as the world’s population grows bigger.

Statistics from the UN indicates about one-third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted annually whilst more than 700 million people face hunger and starvation.

This translates into nearly $1 trillion worth of food. In Ghana, more than $400 million worth of food is lost to post-harvest losses annually.

“Why is it that in Kenya, 40 percent of fish is lost because of power outages between the Mombasa Port and Nairobi?” he quizzed.

“In some parts of the world like Mauritania, the rains are coming at different times, then they do get a big crop but they have got nowhere to sell it. Then it goes bad… So, you’ve got all these imperfections but surely, it’s not beyond the wits and intelligence of men and women to sort out these issues,” Mr. Nutall said.

He was speaking to journalists who toured the United Nation’s office in Bonn, Germany, where the 60th annual congress of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) was held.

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Joy News’ Joseph Opoku Gakpo who participated in the meeting reports that the UN official also raised concerns about loss of food in developed countries too.

“You live in Europe, most people go to the super market, they buy too much food and then it rots in the fridge and then they throw it away,” he explained.

Mr. Nutall said it is unacceptable that resources including land and water are being depleted at a fast rate to the detriment of the environment for the production of food that ends up being wasted.

The congress of the International Federation of Agric Journalists in Bonn, Germany was under the theme: Agricultural Sustainability. More than 200 Agric journalists and communicators from across the world gathered for the congress.

Mr. Nutall noted the efficient use of resources is crucial to ensuring sustainable agriculture.

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