In our local markets, fresh produce that remain unsold at the end of the day are either thrown away or left to litter markets increasing environmental problems including pungent smells and infestation with rodents that can spread diseases. Food losses and wastage have consequences on hunger, nutrition, income generation and economic growth of a Nation.
To alleviate this problem Suzanna Owiyo, recently appointed National Goodwill ambassador has come up with an initiative known as Soko Bila Waste “Every little thing Counts” aimed at sensitizing the vendors, consumers and farmers on the importance of reducing food wastage from the various levels of the distribution chain.
The Initiative supports UNEP’s global food waste campaign, THINK EAT SAVE ‘Reduce your Food print’ that was launched early this year. To mark this year’s World Environment, Soko Bila Waste invited women personalities to Marikiti Market for a vending and clean up exercise at Marikiti (Wakulima Market) which saw them trade places with women vendors as a way of appreciating them for braving the harsh conditions to make ends meet and being instrumental in ensuring farm produce reaches the consumer.
Through Soko Bila Waste, various people in the food value chain will be educated and sensitized on the need for food waste reduction at the various levels of the food value chain especially the markets, which contribute to more than 2000 tonnes of organic waste per day in Nairobi County alone. This will also help Cut down the amount of food that goes to waste on-farm, in-transit to markets, within markets, restaurants and in the kitchen, and is key in addressing food security.
Soko Bila Waste “Every little thing counts” is a two-year project in different phases. The first phase will be targeting markets followed by restaurants and homes then lastly the farm, where several tonnes wasted daily with Post-harvest losses running up to 15 to 20 percent for cereals and higher for perishable products due to poor storage and other inefficient farm infrastructure. This initiative will help identify the problems that lead to food wastage and how they can be dealt with.