Although food is central to how healthy, productive and prosperous a country is, every food produced on earth comes at a certain carbon-cost to the environment. As population grows, food production also tends to grow, so does the carbon-cost, culminating in more potential adverse impacts on the environment as a direct result of increasing carbon-costs. In fact, recent data suggests that about 20-30% of man-made environmental impacts are linked to food production, processing, utilization and waste.
It is a given that food sufficiency is a major driver of economic development. A country that depends on others for its basic food needs will be at the mercy of others while a country with secured food needs is one that will break new limits.
Currently, the challenge is not only that Nigeria, a developing country, does not produce enough food but that at many of its farms (which are often in rural areas that lack basic amenities), processing facilities and during transportation, a good junk of (processed and unprocessed) foods get spoilt and are rendered unfit for consumption before they get to the final consumer. Thus, annually, Nigeria loses millions of tonnes of food, especially perishable foods, and in turn, billions of revenue in Naira to both farmers and the public (the government and consumers), with a heavier burden on the environment. Equally significant is the public health risks that such compromised foods pose. This tide must be checked.
While food production must increase to meet the needs of the teaming populace, new and more efficient food processing methods that ensure longer shelf lives, retain maximum health benefits and reduce food spoilage must be adopted. Else, the more food lost to spoilage, the higher the health risks arising from the consumption of such compromised foods, the more unproductive the population becomes, and the more burdens placed on the environment for biorecycling. Already, various researches have dispelled the erroneous belief that people are malnourished or underfed only during famines, wars and natural disasters, we now know that even in time of peace and plenty, overfeeding, underfeeding, and many other unhealthy feeding habits are rife with serious repercussions for the populace.
Project FoFA, a critical initiative by wastesmart.org, is aimed at improving food security while simultaneously reducing food footprints, combating climate change, fighting poverty and protecting the natural environment in Nigeria. We enlighten the public including eateries, farms and homes on various food waste prevention tips. We are motivated to contribute our quota to achieving the charge of reducing food wastage, food spoilage, extreme hunger and optimizing food utilization by 12.5% in Nigeria by 2030 (one-fourth of the US goal).