A report has revealed that Pakistan wastes $4 billion worth of food every year. This is a shocking revelation given that the country is home to millions of people who are unable to access basic food items.
According to the details, the report by the Ministry of National Food Security & Research reveals that Pakistan yearly wastes 26% of its food production yearly. The yearly food waste in Pakistan is 19.6 million tonnes.
The report further revealed that most food items are wasted for not meeting the criteria of appearance, size, and color despite the steps to ensure food security.
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The majority of food items are excluded from the supply line and wasted on various reasons. Furthermore, the majority of food items stored in kitchens are also wasted yearly after the expiry date.
Food waste: New challenge for Pakistan?
Food waste is a critical issue, especially since Pakistan is already facing challenges related to food insecurity. According to the Global Hunger Index, Pakistan ranks 92nd out of 107 countries, with a score of 24.6, which is categorized as a “serious” level of hunger.
The COVID-19 pandemic had already exacerbated the situation, with millions of people losing their jobs and struggling to put food on the table. Furthermore, the 2022 flash floods plunged an additional 2.5 million people in Pakistan into extreme hunger, reaching an all-time high of 8.6 million Pakistanis.
Additionally, the Pakistani public is already crippled due to back-breaking inflation which has made it difficult for people to feed their families. In fact, to help the public, the PDM government even distributed free flour to deserving families.
Read more: Stampede at Charsadda free flour distribution kills man
The wastage of $4 billion worth of food every year represents a considerable economic loss for Pakistan. This loss can have a significant impact on the country’s economy, particularly in terms of lost revenue and wasted resources.
Food waste also has an environmental impact, particularly in terms of greenhouse gas emissions and water usage. The food that is wasted in Pakistan produces methane gas, which contributes to climate change and Pakistan already suffered the consequences of climate change in the form of the 2022 floods.
The government and society need to work together to reduce food waste and ensure that the country’s food resources are utilized effectively and efficiently.