Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), an NGO has tasked the Federal Government and Nigerians on behavioural change toward food wastage and loss.
Mr Micheal Ojo, Country Director of GAIN, made the call in a on Tuesday.
He advised the government to reduce food wastage and loss among public vendors and food service professionals by at least 50 per cent.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that GAIN co-launched the EAT-Lancet Commission Report on food, planet and health in Nigeria recommended reduction of food wastage and planetary health diet consumption as paramount for sustainable food system.
‘’The foods eaten the way it is produced and the amounts wasted or lost have major impacts on both human health and environment sustainability.
‘’Getting it right with food will be an important way for Nigeria to achieve the targets of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change,” he said.
Ojo said that wastage had impacted on greenhouse gas emission, land use and biodiversity loss, particularly the case for animals’ source foods from grains fed livestock.
He urged the government to facilitate public behavioural change through education and awareness campaigns, including incentives to reduce household food waste.
Ojo, however, noted that it was paramount to establish municipal systems that separate and reuse food waste through composting, bio-energy production or other operations, while also avoiding losses to landfill and incineration.
He said that there was need to upgrade the municipal sewages to minimise nutrient pollution of aquatic systems and eventually safely recycle nitrogen and phosphorous into cropping systems.
‘’There is the need to oversee a sustainable and energy-efficient food distribution system that limits food losses.’’
Ojo urged farmers to reduce food lost on the farms by practicing good pest and nutrient management.
He also advised farmers to halt agriculture expansions by prioritising and maximising food production on existing productive lands and by focusing on closing yield gaps.
‘’Farmers should focus on practices that improve soil carbon concentration and reduces nutrient.
“Clearing natural lands for food production has enormous impacts on climate and land conversion for food production is the single most important driver of biodiversity loss,” he said.
According to him, the EAT-Lancet report revealed that by 2050, the global food system will require sufficient healthy foods with no additional land use conversions for food, reduced water use, decreased nitrogen and phosphorus loss to waterways.
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