India is top of charts for its notorious lack of infrastructure and food storage facilities, a new study "Global Waste Not, Want Not Report" says. 210 lakh tonnes of wheat -- equivalent to Australia's anuual output -- goes waste in the country.
The report by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IME) on global food wastage finds that as much as 50 % of all food produced globally never reaches a human mouth.
In neighbouring Pakistan, such losses are about 16 % of production, or 32 lakh tonnes annually, where inadequate storage facilities cause widespread rodent infestation problems. Overall, wastage rates in vegetables and fruit are even higher than for grains.
Further, at least 40 % of all fruit and vegetable in India is lost between the grower and the consumer due to lack of refrigeration, poor roads, inclement weather and corruption.
Food wastages tend to move up the distribution chain as the development standards improve and regional and national transport, storage and distribution facilities fail to match the improvements made at the farm level. This is particularly true of India, which needs huge investments in food logistics.