Dr. Stella Agyemang Duah, a Research Scientist of the Biotechnology and Nuclear Agriculture Research Institution (BNARI) and the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) has initiated an advocacy to reduce or stop food wastage in Ghana.
As a result, the first ever “Stop Food Wastage Day 2022” was launched in Kumasi on Wednesday.
The proponent, Dr. Agyemang Duah, and her team of students and personnel from the Environmental Sanitation team of the KMA havealready introduced the project to traders at the Bantama and RaceCourse markets in Kumasi, where the team displayed placards, with
messages like; ‘Save Food’, ‘Empty your plate’ and ‘Someone Needs Food’.
The project aims at creating zero hunger through a cost effective system that supports hunger alleviation, create national awareness about efficient organic waste management mechanisms and partners stakeholders to promote segregated waste bin distribution.
Launching the advocacy under the theme, “ Education and Igniting change in the Ghanaian for national development”, the renowned research scientist, quoting the Food Waste Index Report in 2021 by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) said food waste is one of the
most prevalent global challenges as consumers in the world waste over931 million tonnes of food each year.
She said the wastage comes in the face of the fact that one out of nine people have no access to sufficient food, which fact goes to emphasise that hunger is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, ahead of many killer diseases such as HIV/AIDS and malaria.
According to her, the level of waste in Ghana, which reportedly generates about 22,500 tonnes of waste every day, has not changed over the years and that a food waste survey data between 2017 and 2021 indicated that apart from the household being the highest point of 32% food waste, various events like funerals (21.3%), Markets (20%), Schools (10.7%) and parties (16%) are also fast contributing to food waste index.
Consequently, Dr. Agyemang Duah said the exposure of the environment to wasted food which end up in landfills contribute to about 12% emission of anthropogenic gases and that as population grows demand for food increases alongside price hikes thus causing negative effect on the economy.
The research scientist has, therefore, recommended that demand planning must be enhanced while consumers are encouraged to employ dynamic pricing models and implement advanced distribution technologies.
She admonished that consumers should buy more of what is grown as well as strive for stable buyer-grower relationship and innovative purchasing models.
Dr. Agyemang Duah also stressed that consumers should be assisted with food management practices.