The startup cutting down food waste in Nigeria
Around the world, a lack of food is the fatal problem which many people face on a daily basis and from the comfort of our homes, it is hard for us to even the imagine the level of suffering those in poverty are going through.
Last year, 815 million people battled hunger, of which 243 million lived in Africa, this makes 11 percent of the global population. Adding to that the fact that it is an increase of about 40 million from 2015, it seems like the future is not hopeful. At the same time, we are facing the serious problem of food waste. Every year, 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted and cutting back on food waste is needed more than ever.
Luckily, the world has people like Oscar Ekponimo, a Nigerian software engineer who contributed to revolutionizing the food industry providing us with a great invention and solving two problems at once. Oscar’s father suffered a partial stroke and as a result wasn’t able to work so the family was left struggling for survival. Today, Oscar decided to change the sad destiny of many people with his great invention.
Chowberry is a platform that connects supermarkets to charity organizations and food-relief agencies as well as low-income consumers. By scanning barcodes, retailers notify potential buyers when the expiry date of certain products is approaching. This way, they are able to sell these items which otherwise would probably become part of the global food waste. Oscar even won a Rolex Award for Enterprise last year which highlights the significance of his achievement.
Apart from Chowberry, Oscar also runs Food Drive, an initiative of collecting products which are close to expiration and distributing them to elderly homes and orphanages. This application is not the only one with the purpose of reducing food waste and world hunger. There are many others like Zero Percent, Food Cowboy, Rainbow and etc., all with the same purpose – fighting the world hunger.
Knowing the fact the situation isn’t getting any better, the world is still in desperate need of new solutions and ideas which will successfully solve these problems, resulting in less food being thrown in the garbage and more in hungry stomachs. Each one of us can make a difference starting from our own fridge. Buying and spending wisely should be the general rule for each household. Step by step, raising our own awareness, supporting people like Oscar and taking advantage of today’s technology, we can make a difference and promising future can be recognized.
Written by Petra Orepic