The question of how to feed a rapidly growing population is one of the major global challenges of our time. The amount of people on our planet is expected to reach almost 10 billion by 2050 and the population of Africa is projected to more than double within a similar timeframe. To be able to respond to these rapidly changing demographics, we the world will need c.70% more food than it does today — food that is safe, nutritious, affordable, and sustainable.
Unfortunately, our starting point is not encouraging. Today, almost 800 million people in developing countries are undernourished. Of these, more than a quarter live in sub-Saharan Africa.
Although there is still more than enough produce to feed the world, the problem is that consumption is not equally distributed. What is more, of all the food that is produced, over one third is never eaten. This is due to a range of factors that vary according to geographic location, socio-economic development, demographics and the lack of modern transport, storage and packaging systems to protect food and keep it fresh.
There is no “one-size-fits-all” solution to the twin challenges of ensuring food & nutrition security and preventing food waste. However, what seems clear is that effective responses will require governments, private sector and civil society working together to secure the sustainability of food — not only from farm to fork, but also after it is consumed.