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Global food wastage hits $1trn annually – UNEP

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By JONAH NWOKPOKU

The United Nations Environment Programme, UNEP has decried the high level of food wastage going on globally, saying it now amounts to a trillion dollar every year.

In connection with the theme of this year’s World Environment Day: ‘Think, Eat, Save, Reduce your Foodprints,’ it says “each year an estimated one third of all food produced ends up spoiling in the bins of consumers, retailers, farmers and transporters. Together, these spoilt food total 1.3 billion tonnes and worth an estimated $1 trillion every year.”

“This amount of food can feed several millions of people who presently go to bed hungry every day,” the statement added.

Also speaking to news men on this year’s World Environment Day celebration in Lagos, the Executive Director of Environment Rights Action, ERA, Dr. Godwin Ojo also said that as a result of the food wastage, half of Nigeria’s population faces threats of hunger and starvation.

He said that given the fact that, “sixty million Nigerians are unemployed  and only 10% are gainfully employed, it could be said that half of the population are underfed, malnourished and are under serious threats of dying of starvation. Believe or not, thousands of Nigerians die of hunger and other related diseases,” he added

He noted that the theme for this year’s World Environment Day, which was jointly chosen by the United Nations Environment Programme, UNEP and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation is very apt in the face of the multiple planetary crises that face mankind, adding that the planet is threatened by climate change, food crisis and an apparently unyielding energy crisis.

“The theme for this year calls on all of us to reflect deeply about the state of the world environment especially in relation to run away climate change and food crisis facing humanity in general. According to available statistics, over 1.2 billion people go to bed hungry everyday and another half of that figure die of starvation and malnutrition globally. As we think of overconsumption of the affluent societies across the globe, let us reflect on the social disparity over food access and consumption patterns.”

Ojo explained that the trend is fueled by food wastages resulting from lack of access to food supply due to poor road infrastructure and the capitalist greed of agribusiness men. “The so called global food deficits is artificial and the creation of man because of the greed of agribusiness,” he said.

The ERA boss however noted that, “To address the problem of food waste and deficits from Nigeria will require that some measures be put in place like fixing the deplorable road networks that seriously affect transportation of food from areas of surplus to areas of deficits.”

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