USAID Food Loss and Waste Podcast Episode 6: Supporting Youth to Reduce Food Loss and Waste
Over one-third of the world’s food is lost or wasted, undermining efforts to end hunger and malnutrition while contributing 8 to 10 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. In low- and middle-income countries, over 40 percent of food loss occurs before a crop even makes it to market, whether due to inadequate storage in hot or humid climates, pests or microbes, spoilage, spillage in transport or otherwise. Eliminating food loss and waste (FLW) would provide enough food to feed two billion people, as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Addressing FLW is critical to global food security, nutrition and climate change mitigation.
In order to raise awareness, exchange information and share success stories, USAID’s Food Loss and Waste Community of Practice created the USAID’s Kitchen Sink: A Food Loss and Waste Podcast. Our goal is to share monthly, bite-sized episodes that highlight USAID’s and the U.S. government’s approaches to FLW and provide a resource for those interested in what FLW is, why we should care and how we can reduce it.
Our latest episode with Jacob Ricker-Gilbert, Wyatt Pracht and Patrick Ketiem of the Feed the Future Food Processing and Post-Harvest Handling Innovation Lab (FPIL) explores the role of youth in reducing FLW. The speakers share findings from a recent project conducted in Kenya with LASER PULSE, an area where youth unemployment and smallholder farmers lacking access to agricultural inputs are two major challenges. To try and address these issues, the project conducted a randomized control trial with agricultural youth clubs to train 397 youths in business concepts, FLW reduction management and gender considerations. Youth were also linked with agricultural input suppliers and provided the opportunity to sell postharvest inputs that included hermetic bags and low-cost moisture meters called hygrometers. The study increased access to inputs that help reduce FLW and increased incomes of certain youth. The median youth who participated in the project gained an additional $10 monthly income. For more information, read the recent blog from FPIL.
You can subscribe to receive the latest episodes of USAID’s Kitchen Sink and listen to our original four episodes on the platform of your choice: Apple, Spotify and more! Video recordings of the episodes are available on YouTube. Check in every month for new episodes with experts from around the world to discuss FLW and methane emissions, the role of youth in addressing FLW, the economic costs of FLW, case studies from USAID Missions and more.
If you have an idea for an episode topic you’d like to see featured or if you would like to participate in an episode of USAID’s Kitchen Sink, please reach out to Nika Larian ([email protected]).
There’s no time to waste!
This work was funded in whole or part by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Bureau for Resiliency and Food Security under Agreement # AID-OAA-L-12-00003 as part of Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Processing and Post-harvest Handling. This work was also funded by LASER (Long-term Assistance and Services for Research) PULSE (Partners for University-Led Solutions Engine). LASER is a $70M program funded through USAID’s Innovation, Technology, and Research Hub, that delivers research-driven solutions to field-sourced development challenges in USAID partner countries. A consortium led by Purdue University, with core partners Catholic Relief Services, Indiana University, Makerere University, and the University of Notre Dame, implements the LASER PULSE program through a growing network of 3,000+ researchers and development practitioners in 74 countries. LASER PULSE collaborates with USAID missions, bureaus, and independent offices and other local stakeholders to identify research needs for critical development challenges, and funds and strengthens the capacity of researcher-practitioner teams to co-design solutions that translate into policy and practice. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed here are those of the authors alone.