On the occasion of World Food Loss and Waste Day on September 29, Africa, a region still struggling with food shortages, faces a significant challenge: up to 30 percent of the total food produced is lost due to inadequate post-harvest handling practices.

The wastage caused by poor post-harvest handling has raised serious concerns among African governments. This issue contributes to a substantial import bill as countries are compelled to import food to meet the growing demand.

Dr Ojongetakakah Enokenwa Baa, a researcher affiliated with the International Water Management System (IWMI), highlights that a staggering 70 percent of food is wasted at the household level, as well as within the food service and retail sectors.

Dr Enokenwa explains that IWMI’s work, with a focus on gender and social inclusion, aims to provide agricultural technology, packaging, and design solutions to support smallholder farmers and agri-businesses in reducing food wastage at both the household and food service levels.

She emphasises their commitment to empowering women involved in food production within households, assisting them in finding effective strategies to minimise food loss and waste.