'Food thrown away while others go hungry'

HARARE - Every year an estimated 1,3 billion tonnes of food is wasted in the world while one in every seven people go to bed hungry, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

Commemorating World Environment Day in Harare yesterday, minister of Environment, Francis Nhema, said people should not waste food as so much energy is lost energy during production and disposal.

“In Zimbabwe, 150 000 tonnes of domestic waste is generated per year and food waste constitutes about 70 percent of the total amount of waste,” he said.

“It is indeed sad to note that while a lot of people in Zimbabwe do not have adequate food, the bulk of waste on our dumpsites is organic,” Nhema said.

This year’s celebrations were marked under the theme “Think. Eat. Save-promoting sustainable practices,” which  highlighted the negative effects food waste played on the environment.

Nhema said: “I earnestly urge everyone to join hands in an effort to both raise awareness and to take corrective action to reduce all forms of wastage be it in your home, on your farm, in the supermarket, in a canteen, in a hotel or anywhere else where food is produced, prepared and consumed.”

Forestry Commission deputy general manager said government had crafted a statutory instrument to control and mitigate deforestation by invoking penalties especially for tobacco farmers.

“We are conducting awareness campaigns to educate farmers to grow their own trees instead of cutting down trees,” he said. - Bridget Mananavire

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