C2AUOA: Oxfam in Pakistan launched a new campaign to sensitize the population against food wastage in partnership with Indus Consortium. The campaign was held at the Arid Agriculture University where speakers discussed how food wasted globally each year is much more than enough to feed the nearly 1 billion hungry people in the world.

Muslim countries during Ramzan because of lavish buffets, excessive grocery shopping and cooking large quantities of food every year a dramatic increase in food waste is witnessed. Save Food Fight Hunger campaign is intended to raise awareness, practicing moderation and encouraging residents, restaurants, and hotels to prepare limited amounts of food. The campaign also focuses on giving edible food to the needy through food drives and charities.

An estimated 6 out of 10 people go to bed hungry in Pakistan despite enough food is produced to feed the entire population only because of food wastage. Pakistan is ranked at 107 on the Global Hunger Index out of 118 developing countries. These alarming statistics estimate that 40% of food produced in Pakistan is wasted.

Federal Minster for Parliamentary Affairs Shaikh Aftab Ahmed, chief guest on the occasion addressing the audience on the topic of food security said, “The Government of Pakistan is paying attention to the food security of the most marginalized segments of society. This is part of the priority areas which the federal government has taken into account. However, the citizens, civil society and the private sector should also play their part to make it possible. ” He added that food wastage is a national issue and in our personal capacity. We should save food which is being wasted on a daily basis.

Director of Oxfam Programme, Ms. Afzal said, “The problem of food wastage lies in socio-cultural sensitization and behavioral change. While many food products are biodegradable, their non-consumption means the resources such as energy, water, and materials used in their cultivation and production are wasted “. Ms. Javeria Afzal encouraged the students of Arid Agriculture University to join in the effort to reduce food waste and discussed the need to develop better food habits and respect for the production cycle.

Arid Agriculture University Vice Chancellor Dr. Rai Niaz Ahmed said, “Pakistan is a resourceful country and it is producing enough food for its population, but the problem lies in the management and distribution of food. This should be addressed through the establishment of an infrastructure from land to market”.

Indus Consortium’s National Coordinator Hussain Jawar requested the attending students, teachers and other civil society actors to sensitize their family members to not waste cooked or uncooked food.

The food awareness campaign is part of Oxfam’s GROW campaign, a global initiative since 2013, to build a better food system: one that sustainably feeds a growing population and empowers poor people to earn a living, feed their families, and thrive. Oxfam is about bringing people together to create solutions – for food, fairness, and the future of our planet.