The Federal Government of Nigeria is implored to promote transport infrastructure and storage, partner with food technology companies to establish evidence-based system choices with the aid of real-time data and drive the acceptance of sustainable means in waste management, distribution and food production among businesses. The CEO and Co-founder of Vendease, a food-tech company facilitating procurement and business management for food supply chain enterprises, Tunde Kara, mentioned these perceptions in an interview. Inflationary pressures in relation to the removal of fuel subsidy are what Nigerians are struggling with, which has now caused the price of energy, goods and services to increase.
According to report, there is an increase in the prices of staple foods consumed daily from 8 percent to 12 percent on a monthly basis and Nigerians paid on average an increase of 30 percent in prices of food within the 12-month period from June 2022 to June 2023. High food inflation in Nigeria is worsened, according to a report published by the United Nations in 2021, by its problem of food waste, stating that the wastage of food by each citizen is 189kg as the highest in Africa — a total of 37.9 million tons of food are wasted yearly.
Collaboration with food-tech firms is essential.
Kara, who is the owner of Vendease, with 4,000 customers in Ghana and Nigeria, said that businesses of over 35,000 man-hours have prevented approximately $1.1 million worth of food and about $10 million in procurement costs have been saved from going into waste as a result of storage issues and stocking, stating that government ought to address the food wastage in Nigeria by collaborating with stakeholders to promote agriculture system and evaluate storage through food technology. He said that a comprehensive system and collaborative approach is needed to address this issue.
He stated that these approaches involve individuals, civil society, private sector and government. He added that the measures to address this issues are ensuring that enough foods get to the customers, improvement on transportation infrastructure for perishable goods to break post-harvest losses and development of storage. In addition, collaboration with food-tech firms to ensure the government establish policy decisions based on analytics and real-time data is needed. Also, encouraging businesses to accept sustainable system on waste reduction, distribution and food production by giving out grants, tax breaks or incentives to promote environmentally responsible practices and motivate positive change.
A solution to combat supply and procurement issues.
Additionally, food wastage can be reduced through the development of innovative solutions by support food-tech companies. Access to resources for research and development, grants or financial incentives can boost the execution of efficient reduction of food waste technologies. Tunde Kara mentioned that together with his co-founders, they have decided to establish a solution to combat supply and procurement issues, starting with the fragmented food sector in Nigeria after the closure of their restaurant during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Like many other restaurants in Nigeria that was closed, his favourite restaurant was shut down as a result of supply problems.
Tunde added that they had to device a solution to combat the supply and procurement issues, especially, beginning with fragmented food sector in Nigeria. He stated that he had to acquire rich experience in growth strategies and business development in various markets before establishing Vendease. In addition, Tunde stated that his co-partners had to draw from experience and collective knowledge to establish services and technology driven tools for the development of the restaurants by developing the movement of food from the production area to table.
$1.1 million worth of food is prevented from getting damaged.
Up till date, he accounted that the restaurants have developed the journey of more than 1,000,000 metric tonnes of food, preventing the sum of $1.1 million worth of food from getting damaged and wasted as a result of storage and stocking issues. There is an automated food supply in Africa on three fronts: real-time data exchange, payments and procurement. There is a prevention of food waste from the restaurants to optimise their systems to concentrate on giving out quality to their customers and save time. Also, there is usage of technology into a comprehensive one-stop suite of apps.