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Refrigeration in developing countries could eliminate a quarter of food waste

Refrigeration in developing countries could eliminate a quarter of food waste

A report published by The Institute of Mechanical Engineers has concluded refrigeration in developing countries could eliminate a quarter of food wastage.

The report shows that nearly 50% of fruit and vegetables are lost in Sub-Saharan Africa and India. The African nation of Tanzania sees 25 per cent of all milk produced in the wet season end up as wastage, while 97 per cent of meat sold in the country has never been properly refrigerated.

With 70% of people in sub-Saharan Africa having no access to electricity at all and 350 million people in India situated off-grid in rural locations. The report urges immediate action to encourage the roll-out of sustainable cold and frozen supply chains in order to prevent unnecessary food loss and improve global food security.

Dr Tim Fox, Head of Energy and Environment at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers said, “Hunger, as well as illness from poor quality food, continues to be a significant problem in many parts of the world, and this is potentially set to get worse as global population rises,” said Dr Tim Fox, head.

“Governments and aid agencies simply funding the production of more and more food which is then spoilt and discarded is a poor use of the money, often from taxpayers or donations, and does not provide a long-term and sustainable solution to the problem of global poverty and local self-sufficiency.”

“It also presents farmers and rural communities with attractive business opportunities for development,” said Fox.

The Institution’s key recommendations in this new report are:

1. Governments of newly emerging and rapidly industrialising economies must prioritise and support investment in cold chain infrastructure to improve food security, underpin development and help alleviate poverty.

2. Donor country governments and development NGOs must support and incentivise aid recipients to develop sustainable cold chains using renewable energy and waste cold.

3. The engineering community should come together to define in detail the potential opportunities a connected cold economy presents for the developed and developing world.

Refrigeration technologies in the developing world has become a hot topic of late and as we reported a few companies are already developing solar refrigeration for use in areas without electricity.

To find out more about Refrigeration Technologies in the Developing World Click here. 

To read the full IMECHE Report Click here.

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  • Renewable Technologies
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