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Food Waste Index Report 2021

  • Vaid's ICS, Lucknow
  • 02, Dec 2021
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Why in News?

The Food Waste Index Report 2021 was recently released by the UNEP.

Even though the world produces enough food to feed twice the world’s present population, food wastage is ironically behind the billions of people who are starving.

Food Waste Index

  • The Food Waste Index is released by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and partner organisation WRAP.
  • It measures tons of wasted food per capita, considering a mixed stream of products from processing through to consumption.
  • It was prepared by using data from 54 countries and then extrapolated to the remaining countries.
  • Contrary to belief, the study by the UNEP revealed that food waste was a global problem and not that of just the developed world.

Highlights of the 2021 report

  • The report has revealed that 17 per cent of all food available at consumer levels was wasted in 2019.
  • That year, some 690 million people had to go hungry.
  • The food waste amounted to a whopping 931 million tonnes of food sold to households, retailers and restaurants.
  • Waste at household, foodservice and retail amounted to 79, 26 and 13 kilogram /capita / year
  • The data, though scarce, revealed that food waste was substantial, regardless of income level.

Data on India

  • The report notes that food waste at the consumer level happens in almost every country, regardless of income level.
  • In South Asia, while 50 kilograms of food is wasted per person each year at the household level in India.
  • Others include- 65 kilograms of this happening in Bangladesh, 74 kilograms in Pakistan, 76 kilograms in Sri Lanka, 79 kilograms in Nepal and 82 kilograms in Afghanistan.

Why it is important to prevent food wastage?

  • Food waste also has a substantial environmental, social and economic impact.
  • Food loss and waste cause about $940 billion per year in economic losses. Reductions can save money for farmers, companies, and households.
  • For example, 8-10 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions are associated with food that is not consumed.
  • Reducing food waste would cut greenhouse gas emissions, slow the destruction of nature through land conversion and pollution, enhance the availability of food and thus reduce hunger and save money.

Facts  For Prelims:


A Saudi-led military coalition mounted air strikes on Yemen’s Houthi-controlled capital Sana’a after it intercepted 10 drones launched by the Iran-backed rebels.


  • Sanaa also spelled Sanaʽa or Sana, is the largest city in Yemen.
  • Under the Yemeni constitution, Sanaʽa is the capital of the country, although the seat of the Yemeni government moved to Aden, the former capital of South Yemen in the aftermath of the Houthi occupation.
  • Aden was declared as the temporary capital by President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi in March 2015.
  • It is located next to the Sarawat Mountains of Jabal An-Nabi Shu’ayb and Jabal Tiyal, considered to be the highest mountains in the country and amongst the highest in the region.
  • The Old City of Sanaʽa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has a distinctive architectural character, most notably expressed in its multi-storey buildings decorated with geometric patterns.