Post-harvest Losses and Food Waste: The Key Contributing Factors to
Abiodun Elijah Obayelu
Why Africa urgently needs to act now on food losses and waste
Food losses and waste are becoming increasingly critical to the African farmer and threats to sustainable food and environmental security. Analysis of the current food situation shows that almost 1.2 billion people are going hungry in the world and one-third (1/3) are found in Africa with many being farmers . About 1.3 billion tonnes of food waste has also been reported to be produced annually around the world at a direct economic cost of $750 billion [2, 3]. A report by Food and Agriculture Organization  shows that while about 54% of the world's food waste occurs 'upstream' during production, post-harvest handling and storage, only 46% happens 'downstream,' at the processing, distribution and consumption stages. Food losses and waste are, therefore, not only causing major economic losses but also wreaking significant harm on the natural resources that humanity relies upon to feed.