Government Policy

5.5pc food wasted at households per day: survey

Bangladesh witnesses 5.5 per cent food wastage in a day at household level during consumption posing a high risk for ensuring food security of the country, says a survey report.

Globally, it said, the wastage is 33 per cent or 1.3 billion tonnes of the total yearly food production.

The report was revealed at a national seminar on "Responsible Food Habit: Role of Individual and the State" held at CIRDAP auditorium here today.

Of the total household food loss, 3 per cent is wasted at acquisition and preparation stage, 1.4 per cent during preparation and service stage and finally plate wastage is around 1.1 per cent which is due to lack of knowledge and awareness among the people, said the primary survey findings.

About awareness on food loss and nutritious food, the survey showed that around 13 per cent households always grow vegetables for their consumption, 46 per cent grow sometimes of the year and rest do not produce at all.

The survey was carried out at 540 households of six unions of Chadpura, Charbaria, Jagua, Roypasha, Korapur, Shayestabad, Kahipur and two wards under Barisal City Corporation.

On the other hand, per capita daily food consumption of the lowest income group whose monthly income is less than Taka 1500 was about 40 per cent lower than consumption of the highest income group as poverty has a close connection with food security and availability of food, the survey said.

Bangladesh would be the worst sufferer of food scarcity as well as food loss if food wastage problem is not addressed, the survey said, adding that "To Improve food security and nutritional status at household level, they need more awareness to reduce food wastage".

"Even poverty and food security problems are massive in the country with approximately 31.5 per cent of the population lacking the resource to acquire enough food and consequently remaining below the poverty line", said Dr Nazneen of BIDS quoting the household expenditure survey (HIES).

The estimates of head count ratio of poverty by divisions using the upper poverty line in HIES 2010 reveal that Rangpur division has the highest incident of poverty at 46.2 per cent, followed by Barisal division 39.4 per cent and Khulna division 32.1 per cent.

Right to Food Bangladesh organized the workshop with its Vice-Chairman and former banker Khondoker Ibrahim Khaled chaired the seminar.

Food Minister Advocate Quamrul Islam spoke at the seminar as the chief guest while Chairman of the Safe Food Authority Mohammad Mahfuzul Haq as the special guest.

Stressing promoting responsible food habit among the people, programme Manager of Christian Aid Sanjeeb Biswas Sanjoy said, "The country needs around 1700 liters of water to produce a kilogram of beef and more 2000 liters of water is needed to produce a kilogram paddy, so there is no alternative to switch from the conventional way of food habit for saving the natural resources."

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)