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Country's annual food wastage surpasses GDP growth: experts -The Asian Age

The country witnesses an economic loss of Taka 1,56,000 crore annually which is more than of per annum GDP growth due to food wastage, lack of proper storage and marketing facilities.

Speakers said this while participating in a national seminar on 'Role of the state in reducing food wastage: food right' held at the CIRDAP auditorium here today.

Country's GDP was nearly Taka 19,56,000 crore in 2016-17 fiscal year while the value of post harvest loss in production process of different crops including rice, fruits, onion, maize, vegetable, potato and fishes during this period was nearly 8 per cent of the total GDP earning, said a keynote paper at the seminar.

Right to Food Bangladesh along with Christian Aid jointly organized the seminar with renowned economist Khondoker Ibrahim Khaled in the chair.

"The food wastage is being eaten up our annual GDP growth which is being achieved hardly by the country ...and the food wastage due to post harvest loss in different phases including production, storage and marketing level are impeding our development," said Ibrahim Khaled who is also a vice-president of Right to Food Bangladesh.

Around 45 lakh tones of rice is being wastage every year due to post harvest loss which is 12-13 per cent of our total rice production, he said adding, "if we could 

save the production loss than the country can save its exchequer due to rice import."

Quoting a research finding, the keynote paper said the country produced 5.84 crore tones of food crops in 2015-16 fiscal year, but about 77.50 lakh tones of food crops had been wastage during the year which is nearly 10 per cent of the national budget and 31 per cent of the Annual Development Programme (ADP).

In addition to this, 15 to 25 per cent fruits and vegetable production loss is being taken place at producer, collector, whole seller and retailer stages, said the keynote.

Awareness campaign by the extension workers, strengthen warehouse and storage facilities, launching moisture machine for the farmers before harvesting crops, increasing mechanization technology in farm sector also been suggested in the seminar.

Former Agriculture Secretary Anwar Faruque, former Director General of the 

Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) M Monjurul Hannan and Professor Dr Khaleda Islam of Nutrition and Food Science Institute of the Dhaka University, among others, spoke on the occasion.

Right to Food Bangladesh General Secretary and Executive Director of Wave Foundation Mohsin Ali moderated the seminar.