How to Stop Food Waste in Nigeria

In this post we shall be looking at how to stop food waste. Do you know that over 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted annually. This accounts for 33 percent of total annual food production. And amounts to over 750 billiion dollars.

Do you also know that over 795 million people are hungry in the world. While in Nigeria, the figure is 12.1 milralion.

Pardon if u hate figures. But i brought them into the post to give us a clearer view of the economic loss we encounter each time we throw away food.

And the evil we commit because some persons out there in the street are starving.

Also, food waste degenerate our environment. Food waste causes air pollution.

It is the major source of methane gas emmission. Methane gas is a greenhouse gas that causes ozone layer depletion.

Now, you will unequivocally agree with me that food waste is an evil that must be stopped.

However, before I tell you my well thought out measures on how food waste can be stopped, lets look at the possible causes of this problem.


• Poor storage facility: Most commercial farmers in Nigeria loss a great deal of their produce due to lack of good storage facilities for future use or sales.

• Poor transport facility: Another cause of food waste in Nigeria is the poor state of most roads in the country.

This makes it difficult for goods to be transported for sales. And consequently, perishable foods waste.

• Poor Electricity supply: Refrigeration is one of the most common, simple and efficient means of food preservation.

However, inadequate power supply in the country means thaf freezers are now mere fancy appliances in most homes in the country.

This has also contributed greatly to food waste.

• Poor knowledge of food preservation methods: Many people dont have good knowledge of simple food preservation methods. Methods like canning, drying, curing, smoking are great and require less skill and energy.

But a lot of people can not apply these simple akills in preserving their foods. So, in the absence of electricity their food wastes.

• Unplanned and excess buying: Some people go grocery shopping without a planned list of what they need. And the right quantity to buy for use within a particular period. This act leads to a lot of food being wasted. Because, some of the food when not properly preserved get spoilt. Especially the perishable ones.

• Excess cooking: In some families, food is prepared in excess of the quantity needed for consumption.

This foods get spoilt when not properly preserved. Especially, when there is unstable power supply.

• Lack of reuse and recycle culture: Most people in Nigeria lack the reuse and recycle culture. What do i nean by this, it is common to see people throwing away food once it stays overnight.

This is because the food might have changed taste or it is no longer fresh.

This people fail to understand that such food can be reused by improving upon the taste. Or recycle the supposed waste for other uses.

Also see: How Nigeria can Generate Revenue Through Proper Waste Management.


Earlier i stated that while over 795 million people are hungry in the world, over 1.3 billion tonnes of food is been wasted annually.

Going by these figures, you will agree with me that this wasted food would have been enough to cater for the food needs of the hungry ones.

We also agreed that solutions should be sort to stop food waste. So, it must start with us (you and I).

Here is a list of the measures I believe would put an end to food waste in Nigeria:

• Planned buying: It is important that you do the following before going tobthe grocery store. Check your cupboard, store room, food shelves, and refrigerators.

Take inventory of the food stuffs you still have, the ones you need at the moment and the optimal quantity to buy. This way you avoid excess and impulse buying.

• Moderate cooking: You should develop the habit of preparing the right quantity of food to be eaten at a particular time. This way you avoid having leftovers that might be thrown away.

• Develop reuse culture: we often classify foods as leftovers once they stay over. However, the taste and the freshness of the food can be preserved or improved through certain simple techniques.

Like adding curry and other ingredients to an overnight stew improves its taste. Such stew can also be used to prepare fresh jollof rice.

Soup can also be prepared without vegetable. While vegetable is added each time the soup is brought out from the freezer to be warmed.

Remnant of fruits can also be squeezed into juice and preserved in freezer to be taken later.

• Develop recycle culture: Foods that are no longer edible due to spoilage should not be disposed off as waste. Rather, they can be turned to compost and used to maintain household gardens and farms.

Such wastes can also be sold or donated to famers if you have no use for it.

• Donate food: Given the number of people that are dying of hunger daily. It is better to donate food to the needy when you have excess than to allow it to waste.

• Learn simple preservation methods: You should also learn simple and safe preservation techniques. Like canning, smoking, drying, curying and so on. Let me explain how some of this methods work.

Canning simply require cooking the food to be preserved, putting it in a sterile can, sealing it and then heating the container to kill lingering bactria.

Drying involves spreading foods or vegetables under the sun or just in an open space with fire made to provide heat. The aim is to reduce the moisture in the food or vegetable. This improves the shelf life of foods.

Smoking involves drying foods like meat and fish using smoke emanating from the ambers of burnt woods.

There are also other methods like salting, currying, pickling, and so on. But the methods I discussed above are natural, safe and easy to use.

• Good Governance: A good amount of food waste occur due to the inability of the government to provide farmers with basic amenities. Like good roads, electricity supply, good storage facilities and so on.

This amenities makes preservation and supply of perishable farm produce easier. So, government should improve on these ends.

Government should also support food processing firms with loans and enabling environment to thrive.






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EUGENE MBA is the Editor at InfoGuide Nigeria is a team of Resource Persons and Consultants led by Ifiokobong Roberts. Page maintained by Ifiokobong Roberts. If you need a personal assistance on this topic, kindly contact us.

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