Hungry Nations Need to Reduce Food Losses Caused by Storage, Spillage, and Spoilage

Gao ID: ID-76-65 November 1, 1976

Increasing food availability by effective complementary measures to reduce the loss of food after harvest has not been adequately emphasized as a means of coping with current and future demands for food. Developing countries have inadequate food storage facilities and poor storage practices. Losses resulting from spillage, contamination, and deterioration in these countries waste food which is urgently needed to abate hunger and malnutrition. A tremendous opportunity exists for increasing the critically needed food supply by reducing such losses. With the large increases in production required to feed spiraling populations, food losses will multiply unless developing countries and donors of economic assistance concentrate on establishing and maintaining adequate facilities and handling practices. The Administrator, Agency for International Development, in programming agricultural assistance, should emphasize better preservation of food being and to be produced by recipient countries, including the adequacy of their self-help measures. The Secretaries of State, Agriculture, and the Treasury and the Administrator, Agency for International Development, should stimulate concerted actions by developing countries and donor countries and institutions to: (1) reduce postharvest losses; (2) make loss reduction measures an integral part of programs to increase production; (3) establish an effective mechanism for coordinating loss reduction actions; and (4) lay the groundwork for a future assessment of progress toward reducing losses.

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