The Shocking Truth about Food Wastage in Zambia: Part 2

Sara Drawwater
4 July 2013
Zambia and the rest of the world are campaigning against food wastage under the theme “Think, Eat, Save” which is an anti-food waste and food loss campaign.

Part 2: Towards a solution

June 5 2013 was World Environment DayZambia and the rest of the world are campaigning against food wastage under the theme “Think, Eat, Save” which is an anti-food waste and food loss campaign.

“Think, Eat, Save” was this year’s theme for the World Environment Day which fell on the June 5 2013. This theme was chosen to encourage the prevention of food wastage, as well as to raise awareness about the environmental impact of the food choices people make. There is an enormous imbalance in lifestyles globally, producing devastating effects on the environment. This year’s theme encourages society to become more sensitive to the environmental impact of their food choices, empowering them to make informed decisions.

The 2013 World Environment Day campaign sensitises and rallies people to take action corporately as well as from their homes and to witness the power of collective decision-making to reduce food waste and save money. The impact will be twofold: minimising the environmental impact of food production, and forcing food production processes to become more efficient; reducing food loss and wastage at an individual household level.

Zambia’s role in reducing food wastageInfrastructure and technology can help reduce the amount of food that perishes after it is harvested. It is imperative to rehabilitate the five silos in Kabwe, Ndola, Chisamba, Monze, and Kitwe. Currently, the Lusaka silos are the only ones working. Kabwe, Ndola and Chisamba have storage capacity of 110,000 tonnes each, while all the others have a 15,000 tonnes capacity per silo.

Citizens for Better Environment executive director Peter Sinkamba advocates that part of the money saved from maize subsidies should be used to rehabilitate the silos in order to improve food storage facilities. And he is urging the private sector to set up manufacturing industries that will contribute to the value addition of food products.

Enabling rural financial services is vital and urgent — services such as micro-finance, rural savings and credit facilities, and micro-insurance for small-holders. Another measure is to encourage a more disciplined food policy, with practices aimed at ensuring sustainable consumption. This means doing more and better with less, through effectively reducing resource use.

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) experts are also urging people to share their excess food, use traditional preservation methods such as pickling instead of refrigeration, and take more of a liking to locally grown food.

Thoughts on the World Environmental Day ThemeIt is important to use this year’s World Environmental Day theme of “Think, Eat, Save” to inform and stimulate debate on key policy priorities for a joint vision on food security, poverty reduction and environmental protection. The country needs a ‘green economy’ in order to achieve sustainable development. The theme, and its practical outworking, actively encourages the creation of increasingly efficient farming systems that help to ensure increased productivity of food, quality agro-processes that are sustainable and a value-added food supply.

The theme “Think, Eat, Save” can help re-tool the allocation of public spending on food preservation and storage infrastructure, to effectively keep a check on food wastage and unnecessary losses in the food production and supply chain of Zambia. Let’s hope it inspires those in power, as well as the individual consumer, to take steps in the right direction. After all the outcome will affect us all.

This post is the conclusion of a two part series on ‘The Shocking Truth about Food Wastage in Zambia’:part 1: The challenge**part 2: Towards a solution