It’s of our utmost importance to stop the problem of food wastage and develop a sound food supply chain.
The advancements in technology can help to eliminate the main causes of food waste.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United nations, around 30 - 40% of the production gets lost before reaching the market. This is a huge problem in the developing world.
IoT can provide cost-effective monitoring capabilities to inform farmers. This data can help them choose the best methods for harvesting and storing products, especially for crops with high losses such as fruits and vegetables.
According to World Bank estimates, in South and Southeast Asia, almost 90% of the calories lost in food are lost during storage and transport. Even in developed countries, IoT can make the distribution network more efficient and productive. It can provide better monitoring and access to real-time data for decision making.
For example, it can track freight vehicles on the road, detect congestion and create alternative routes, and monitor conditions inside containers. These are already viable commercially available technologies being deployed.
IoT can leverage cost-effective, real-time data from the cold chain infrastructure (temperature-controlled supply chain required for refrigerated products), with tracking and tracing capabilities.
It can help to build a 24/7 monitoring system for perishable foodstuffs and generate alerts when an action needs to be taken (for example, sensors indicating a temperature higher than the baseline in containers, trackers indicating the amount of traffic on roads).
This enables precautionary and preventive actions to be taken at the right time, reducing waste and improving the quality of products. It can also guarantee the food safety of frequently contaminated items and avoid wastage and recalls of expensive products.
Smart refrigerators help to track the quantity and quality of food. They will be able to send alerts or purchase recommendations, even suggesting food quality to buy as per usage patterns.
It can allow stores to sell food that is still good for a longer period of time thanks to better detection by sensors. For example, most Danish supermarket chains have come up with a solid strategy for reducing food waste. IoT can make it exponentially more efficient.
It can allow stores, hotels, restaurants and other typical food waste hotspots to donate food to local charities and other distribution programs rather than throwing them away. The IoT technology can help to broadcast information in real time, which makes sharing more efficient.
Solving world hunger is not just an ethical or humanitarian issue. It’s strongly correlated to global prosperity. After all, hunger can cost a country about 1% of its annual GDP.
So, you see the opportunity is immense. The use of fast-maturing IoT technologies can hasten the end of one of the most important problems in humanity.
Sudipto is a Senior Content Developer at IoT Avenue who helped to build the content of the site along with several other sites with his compassionate SEO driven content. He is also a HubSpot, certified Content Marketer. He brings five years of experience to his current role, where he is dedicated to developing the content of different websites.
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