India wastes 21 million tonnes of wheat every year: report
The report by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IME) on global food wastage found that as much as 50 per cent of all food produced around the world never reaches a human mouth.
"Considerably greater levels of tonnage loss exist in larger developing nations, such as India for example, where about 21 million tonnes of wheat annually perishes due to inadequate storage and distribution, equivalent to the entire production of Australia," said the 'Global Food Waste Not Want Not' report, released here today.
"In neighbouring Pakistan, losses amount to about 16 per cent of production, or 3.2 million tonnes annually, where inadequate storage infrastructure leads to widespread rodent infestation problems," it said.
Overall, wastage rates in vegetables and fruit are even higher than for grains.
At least 40 per cent of all fruit and vegetable is lost in India between the grower and consumer due to lack of refrigerated transport, poor roads, inclement weather and corruption.
According to the latest survey, wastage tends to move up the distribution chain as the standard of development improves and regional and national transport, storage and distribution facilities fail to match the improvements made at the farm level.
This is a particular issue in India, which requires massive investments in the food logistics chain.
"Controlling and reducing the level of wastage is frequently beyond
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