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India seeks Denmark’s help in reducing food wastage

Abha Toppo
Abha Toppo

The Indian government is finding ways to deal with massive food wastage in the country and hence is seeking help from countries excelling in food technology. Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Union Food Processing Minister, who is currently in Copenhagen for the World Food Summit 2018 is pitching for more international collaborations in the food processing field.

She said "India is one of the world’s largest food producers and the government is trying to control wastage during production, processing, retailing and consumption by partnerships and technology with overseas collaboration”. Badal praised Denmark’s technological advancement in the food processing sector and said that India needs to learn a lot from the country that has created a high-tech food processing infrastructure to reduce food wastage.

She also appreciated private corporation’s efforts and said that India’s collaboration with companies like Danfoss has worked well. Danfoss, which is a refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment company, claims to have taken initiatives in states like Tamil Nadu where it has helped farmers in increasing their income and reaching the European market.

The minister also said “Our food gets wasted even before it comes to the plate, whereas in the West, the food which is on the plate gets wasted”. No doubt that India produces a lot of food but much of it gets wasted forcing people to starve due to hunger.

Jakob Ellemann-Jensen, Danish minister of environment and food mentioned that “more than 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted every year”, which is equal to 24 % of total food produced for human consumption. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also signed MoU with Denmark on Animal Husbandry, Food Safety and Agricultural Research earlier this year. The government is also trying to prevent food losses and address hunger in various ways, including using technology and by changing distribution strategies.

It must be noted that wastage of food is not confined to fruits, vegetables, and seafood but also milk. Paradoxically, our country is the second largest producer of vegetables in the world; however, its share in global exports is just 1.3%. An important reason for this is the lack of storage infrastructure. As per the official data, only 6% of food in India goes through cold chains, whereas in developed markets, it is around 70%.

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