Reducing food loss and waste could help overcome the challenges of food security and environmental sustainability, said a new report of the World Bank.
According to the report, countries need well-targeted solutions for this as the results are not automatic.
The report titled "Addressing Food Loss and Waste: A Global Problem with Local Solutions" argues that, "Trade-offs between food affordability, rural livelihoods, and sustainable use of natural resources can only be avoided if they are first identified and then addressed with clear policy priorities in mind."
Juergen Voegele, vice-president of World Bank for Sustainable Development said, "Strategies to reduce food loss and waste can deliver multiple benefits together with other policies and investments. These strategies can play a major part in helping countries improve the health of their people, economies and environment."
A press release from the World Bank said, "About a third of all food produced annually was lost at the farming, transport and processing stages or wasted at the retail and consumer levels."
The report mentions unnecessary pollution generated by the ways our food is produced- from the use of precious natural resources to the decomposing of organic matter.
"Emissions related to food loss and waste account for an estimated 8% of total global emissions, making progress in this area a promising avenue for mitigating climate change," said the press release.
Geeta Sethi, advisor of Agriculture and Food Global Practice, World Bank and the main author of the study, said, "Policy priorities and the specific circumstances of each country should guide the focus on different stages of the supply chain. Countries need good data and analysis to choose the right policy instruments and make sound investments."
The report also includes four case studies that examine food loss and waste challenges and opportunities in Guatemala, Nigeria, Rwanda and Vietnam.