According to the FAO, 30% of food is lost or wasted along the supply chain every year. This is a whopping 1.3 billion metric tons of food that doesn’t ever reach the consumer. This lost or wasted food could be used to feed 1.6 billion people every year. In Africa, the losses are even higher: between 30% and 50%.
Instead of focusing on the supply of subsidised machinery, governments should provide public goods and services to support the emerging private markets. Such support includes strengthening the capacity of the education and training domain, improving the customs process, maintaining market stability, and focusing on institutional solutions for smallholders.
Edible insects have long been a staple source of protein in many African countries. Domesticating production is now taking pressure of local ecosystems.
Wild coffee exhibits much greater genetic diversity than commercial varieties, which increases its chances of adapting to new challenges and reduces the possibility of extinction. It represents an insurance policy for plantation coffee, in case commercial strains are ever badly damaged.
If cash transfers replace in kind contributions in development, will essential services be lost? Can the development community transition to a fee for service model?
There are tremendous opportunities to increase yields throughout South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Increasing yields through new farming practices could triple maize production in sub-Saharan Africa and increase wheat and rice production in South Asia by about 50 percent. Gains on this scale could dramatically reduce hunger and food insecurity in some of the most vulnerable nations in the world.