News and Event


March 02, 2022





Poverty , hunger , malnutrition and food waste are interlinked which  is a scourge on the mankind, particularly in the under developed nations. All over the globe food is often wasted or abused and thrown out into trash bins due to various reasons such as damaged and expired food products. Excess packaged food items and grains on the shelves or in warehouses from the food industries are wasted. This is   due to their  expired shelf life amounting to huge revenue and monetary loss. We can also attribute the food waste due to wrong supply chain, inadequate harvest yield of crops, poor warehousing management strategies. Food abuse also occurs at the retailer and consumer levels. Mostly  40% of fruits and 30% of vegetables are wasted than food grains. It is estimated that one third of the food production getting wasted over the globe annually. Other possible reasons are agricultural land erosion, Green House Gas emissions , Deforestation, Food Inflation, Water scarcity, Declining Wet lands, loss of Bio diversity and significantly The Climate Change.

                                             FOOD HUNGER AND WASTAGE : STATUS

Food waste is  very common in all walks of life over the globe. In India it is  quite common to witness food waste in marriages, social gatherings, parties, places of worship etc. In India about 190 million population are undernourished. 50% of women between the age group 15-50 years are Anemic. Over 90%  between 6months and 24 months  do not receive the minimum food need in India, which is their right.1% of the rural population do not get two square meals a day in some months of the year. World wide Global Hunger consider four  indicators such as under nourishment, child wasting, mortality and child stunting. As per “The State Food Security and Nutrition Report” 2020, India  loses nearly 92000 crores of rupees as a result of food and agricultural waste annually .Over and above COVID-19 Pandemic added more crisis in food distribution, access to food etc. among poor migrant labourers and workers making them hunger, starve  and malnourished.

It is estimated that nearly 930 million Tonnes of food was wasted in 2019 alone over the globe. About 60% wastage contributed by the household, 26% food sources and industries, and 14% by the retailers. In cities most of the food waste from hotels, restaurants and households accounting to 20% to 30%. Among Metro cities Delhi tops among food abuse and waste with 6000 tonns per day, followed by Mumbai and Chennai. During 2019, Global Hunger Index(GHI) for India was reported to be 30.3 with a rank of 102.Nearly 40% of young children are hunger stricken and malnourished. NITI Ayog released an index which used health, education ,and standard of living as indicators to monitor poverty levels and its intensity. It says 25.01% of India’s population suffer from multidimensional poverty.

                                      REMEDIAL MEASURES AND FORTIFICATIONS

Government of India adopted some remedial and fortification measures through mid day meals and Public Distribution System with special focus on the under nourished and malnourished section of the community. In this system supply of micronutrients in food items made which includes Vitamin B12, Iron and Folic acid to fight malnutrition. It is believed that micronutrients produce in the body enough Enzymes and Harmons to stop stunted growth among children below 5 years of age, which accounts to 40% of India’s population. It also will help 36% of underweight children to gain weight and strength. Government of India has created awareness among people about the nutritional value of Millets, Ragi and Bajra . States like Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Chattiasgarh have started cultivating crops like Pearl Millets, Bajra, Jowar, Ragi etc. as a nutritional and staple food for their regions. Though demand of these crops is on the rise but their  area is decreasing from 0.4% to 0.2% from total cultivated area. However undernourished  , malnutrition tribal communities  are advised to take mixed Millet flour with multigrain flours to increase the nutritional values.. Awareness made that Pulses and Millets are the best substitute in hunger and famine prone regions which provides wholesome healthy food.  Some of the fortified food products , Government of India has come up are Millets, Wheat, Edible oils, milk ,Rice etc. However fortification of common salt was done in 1980 with Iodine added to mitigate Thyroid and other related diseases. During 2018, Indian Government fortified Wheat under “ Poshan Abhiyan” to improve nutrition among children, pregnant and lactating mothers. Fortification of milk took place in 2014 to add vitamin D . Rice fortification done in 2019 with the inclusion of Folic Acid, B12 and Iron and edible oils in 2018, with inclusion Vitamin A and D.

                                         POSSIBLE STRATEGIES AND MANAGEMENT

The need of the hour is to adopt some viable strategies and management to minimize food wastages. We need to curb community based food wastages and strengthen by identifying some effective strategies and management on priority basis. Waste generated from the household, hotels and eateries must be segregated as biodegradable and non biodegradables. They should be efficiently converted into BIO-CNG, Manure (Waste to Biofuel).Recycling of waste maybe done by composting , converted to animal feed  and Bio Slurry. Under the present Pandemic situation, all NGOs schools, can adopt a Kitchen Garden to supply nutritious and micronutrition food in the form of fruits and vegetables for the mid-day meals in the schools. Presently this system  is efficiently functioning in the schools of Telengana state which are run by the students under the guidance of teachers. About 150 students in each school participate in this programme which is at present quite successful. Also the need of the hour is to rejuvenate the seed banks to provide good seeds and improver cost effective cultivation  among farmers.

Management of food waste and food distribution can effectively be done through Food Banks Network. We have India Food Bank with god network which have a strong mission mode target of Zero Hunger by 2030 . We need to have efficient , strong networking of such food banks in India with accountability. We need to bring together Government Departments, NGOs Private Players to catch the food donors, fight malnutrition, prevent hunger by food waste  and channelize efficiently the feeding programme  systematically. The Food Banks should focus all the schools in their domain and focus the distribution of mid-day meals with nutritious menu for  Children on daily basis with strict monitoring all the year round.

Another possible management may be  to strengthen under nourished  is to supplement with good health tonic, vitamin capsules, etc. as recommended by the panel of registered docs rom schools and Food Banks as part of the programme. Other issues like Health, Hygiene, nutrition etc. to be addressed among under privileged community , shelter less poor people, old age homes, destitute homes, orphanage homes etc. This is apart from preventive food waste. Food banks may  adopt to supply mid day meals, other food items supply to various regions of India as per their taste, cultural background  to make it a successful programme.

 All the Societies for the Hunger Elimination, NGOs, food banks etc.  should be dedicated , efficient, carry  with mission mode  with all responsibility and accountability, particularly during Natural disasters and Pandemic periods.  More awareness  need to be spread on this mission mode project  for which we may involve bona fide agencies including nationalized banks both in rural and urban ones  apart from other agencies. These banks should help us to propagate curtail food wastage, feed the poor, donate food, set up active young volunteers to work in this mode . Apart from this people from all walks of life must be encouraged to join this movement which is for a noble cause and take pledge to eradicate hunger in this MISSION POSSIBLE 2030 and plug the food wastage  with maximum effort.

Email id:     nathane7c@gmail.com                                      K. KAILASA NATHAN