BD needs to develop effective food preservation tools to ensure food security

03 January 2023

Bangladesh is losing 50 per cent of its fresh produce every year due to the lack of a preservation mechanism and food processing facility -- bottlenecks which stand in the way of the country's food security. The data were revealed at a regional dialogue that highlighted the need for broader regional cooperation and knowledge-sharing to reduce post-harvest loss. The event urged governments across South Asia to initiate an awareness campaign to avoid the loss.
In Bangladesh, the post-harvest mechanism is not often available. The storage in the country is mostly full of rice and potatoes. We are struggling to preserve perishable produce, including fish, meat and vegetables. During winter in Bangladesh, there is a massive growth of tomatoes. However, farmers do not get their fair share of prices and are forced to destroy the produce. If we can set up a processing facility, the farmers would be able to sell those later in the market.
Speakers in a meeting underscored the necessity of regional cooperation at every possible means to collaborate on reducing post-harvest losses. Regional and global cooperation is also imperative to develop capacity, alongside sharing human resources, research, and supporting infrastructure development. The main purpose of effective food preservation is to preserve the basic quality of the food as much as possible and to maintain nutritional value. Traditional methods and techniques are still used in Bangladesh for food preservation and to prevent putrefaction.
A maximum of 70 per cent of post-harvest losses occur during transportation in the country. Bangladesh is prone to frequent climate shocks that can potentially disrupt the food system, increase inequality and jeopardise people's access to food. As food security is directly related to food preservation and food losses occur in the country regularly due to flash floods and storms, we need to develop effective tools to preserve fresh food, food grain and fruits.

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