Giving Compass' Take:

• From solar-powered cold storage to garden waste powered food dehydrators, Food Tank highlights eight examples of how innovators are ending food loss in the developing world.

• How can funders help break down barriers that increase food waste? How can regulations best protect health and wellbeing? 

• Here's a roadmap to addressing food waste. 

Post-harvest food loss is a major contributor to food insecurity and poverty in some of the world’s poorest countries. While in industrialized countries food is wasted in homes, restaurants, and grocery stores, in developing countries, most food loss occurs during harvest, storage, and transportation. For instance, lack of access to cold storage in developing countries leads to significant losses of fruits, vegetables, dairy, and meats. Around half of all fruits and vegetables produced in sub-Saharan Africa are thrown away, according to the Rockefeller Foundation. And problems with the storage of grains, legumes, and pulses can lead to losses of up to 40 percent. Creating technologies that are accessible to small-scale farmers in developing countries could substantially improve livelihoods.

An article published in the journal Food argues, “the solutions to reduce post-harvest losses require relatively modest investment and can result in high returns compared to increasing crop production to meet the food demand.” That same article finds that only five percent of agricultural research funds globally are directed towards post-harvest loss. However, using the little funding that is available, entrepreneurs, inventors, and researchers within developing countries are showing what can be done. They have come up with some innovative storage and packaging technologies that prevent post-harvest losses and are accessible to small-scale farmers.

  1. ColdHubsIn Nigeria, entrepreneur Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu has come up with a system to make cold storage more accessible to small-scale fruit and vegetable producers and sellers.
  2. FrutiPlastScientists at the Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) have manufactured a biodegradable plastic film wrap made from a tropical fruit waste flour.

Read the full article on innovative ways to end food loss by Colton Fagundes at Food Tank.