Reducing food waste is key to food security: an interview with Dr Mukesh Kumar
Dr Mukesh Kumar talks about his work on food security to Jacqueline Gargetas, Coordinator of the Cambridge Global Food Security Strategic Research Initiative.
Mukesh Kumar is from a village in Bihar, India, that had no electricity until 2016. He saw small-holder farmers without enough money to buy the seeds or medicines they needed. Following a career in the financial industry, he joined the University of Cambridge’s Institute for Manufacturing where he is now a University Lecturer in Operations Management. Meeting others through the Cambridge Global Food Security Initiative he realised he could apply his expertise to addressing the food security issues he’d grown up with.
"You can approach feeding the world from various perspectives. One is to produce more food for the growing population. But 27% of the food we already produce is wasted along the supply chain. If we didn’t waste it we could feed an extra one billion people. So do we really need more food production? Do we really need to turn more forest and other natural habitat over to agriculture? I don’t think so. I’m interested in what’s going wrong to compromise food production, from crop failure because of extreme weather events, to food waste and safety in the supply chain, and how we can reduce losses."