Kolkata, Dec 2: The lack of proper handling and inadequate cold storage supply chain from the field to the market place causes India to lose as much as 40 percent of food produced annually, a British academic said on Tuesday.
In the city to unveil a report on cryogenic cold storage solution, Tim Fox, head of energy and environment of the Britain-based Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IME) described the food wastage as a "tragedy".
"This means that 40 percent of (perishable) food produced every year doesn't make it to the consumer and that's isn't just a tragedy because that food would be available to feed the hungry and poor but that is also a tragedy because it is worth about $7.5 billion a year in gross revenue," he said.
"That economic dent could be avoided if the supply chain is robust," he added.
Citing the IME report "A Tank of Cold: Cleantech Leapfrog to a More Food Secure World", Fox said India was the world's largest producer of milk, and second only to China in fruit and vegetables.
"Yet agriculture, which makes up 53 percent of the workforce, generates just 15 percent of GDP," he said.
In addition, India requires 66 million tonnes of cold storage but at present it has less than half of what it needed, Fox said.
"It is a double whammy for India as productivity is affected due to climate change," he pointed out, adding the cryogenic technology can be run on renewable energy.