Much of the continent’s food perishes before it gets to market, because its farmers are starved of knowledge and of resources.
In the village of Kura, in Kano State, Nigeria, where he grew up, with his grandfather , he lost half of his tomatoes after each harvest. He was not a bad farmer. But bad roads made it difficult for him to get his tomatoes to market, and he had never learned modern methods of preserving them. To salvage some of his produce, he often dried his tomatoes on the sand. This is still true for about 80m farmers in Nigeria.
Across Sub-Saharan Africa, 50% of harvested fruits and vegetables, 40% of roots and tubers, and 20% of cereals, legumes, and pulses are lost before they reach a market. Less than a half-mile away from a major tomato-paste factory in Kadawa, Kano, Nigeria, 200 rural farmers dry 40 trailer-loads of fresh tomatoes in the sand every week.
This lack of knowledge and resources contributes substantially to global food insecurity. After all, in the developing world, rural smallholders — most of whom own less than four hectares of farmland — comprise the majority of all farmers. In fact, rural people produce three-quarters of the world’s food, yet they constitute 80% of the world’s poor.
Delivering enough food to feed the world’s population requires farmers to overcome challenges related to climate change, water scarcity, lack of access to extension services, and armed conflict.
As a result, millions of people have been driven from their homes, prevented from working their fields, unable to get their products to markets, or cut off from supplies of improved seedlings, fertiliser, and financial services.
And the challenges escalate. The number of food emergencies — when disasters such as drought, floods, or war lead to food-supply shortfalls that demand external assistance — has risen from 15 per year, on average, in the 1980s, to more than 30 per year since 2000.
The result is widespread food insecurity. According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation, 820m people worldwide lacked access to sufficient food in 2017; more than two billion people are deficient in key micronutrients; and more than half of the people living in low-income countries are not sure of their next meal.
If current trends hold, by 2050 the amount of food being grown will feed only half of the world’s population. But these trends can be changed, and Africa is a good place to start. The ways trends can be changed in order to protech for food is being goes waste stated below :-
a) Refrigerator technology
As they ripen, fruits and vegetables emit ethylene, which speeds up the ripening process in other produce. For those who can’t go through their groceries quickly enough, you can now turn to devices that absorb ethylene gas. Companies like Nanology and Bluapple have started manufacturing discs and pods that go inside your refrigerators or fruit bowls and help produce last longer.
b) Solar-powered storage
Wakati’s solar-powered hydration device, essentially a small tent hooked up to a solar-powered humidifier, prolongs crop storage on small farms that don’t have access to refrigeration. Food losses near the farm are a significant concern in many developing countries, in part due to lack of adequate storage or cold chain technology. Improved storage not only prevents food loss for the environment’s sake, but it helps boost incomes for farmers.
c) To harvest: Blockchain will prevent more food from going to waste
Within five years if we will eliminate many of the costly unknowns in the food supply chain. From farmers to grocery suppliers, each participant in the supply chain will know exactly how much to plant, order and ship. Food loss will diminish greatly and the produce that ends up in consumers’ carts will be fresher – when blockchain technology, IoT devices, and AI algorithms join forces.
d) To shelf: Mapping the microbiome will protect us from bad bacteria
Within five years, food safety inspectors around the world will gain a new superpower: the ability to use millions of microbes to protect what we eat. These microbes – some healthy for human consumption, others not – are regularly introduced into foods at farms, factories and grocery stores. “Thanks to a new technique that enables us to analyse their genetic make-up cost effectively, microbes will tell us a lot about the safety of what we consume,”
At last would be infrastructure ie good roads & transportation facilities – just in time.