UN agencies join forces to reduce food lossesListen /
Around one-third of all food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted each year, amounting to 1.3 billion tonnes – or enough food to feed 2 billion people.
As a result, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP) have launched a joint project to tackle the global problem of food losses.
The three UN agencies will work together on the $2.7 million project funded by the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation to target food losses in developing countries, which can occur during harvesting, processing, transportation and storage as a result of inadequate infrastructure or lack of skills and technology.
In particular, the three-year project will focus on reducing losses of grains and pulses such as maize, rice, beans and cow peas – staple foods that play a significant role in global food security and have a major impact on the livelihoods of millions of smallholder farmers.
The UN project will contribute both to the Millennium Development Goal of improving food security and to the Zero Hunger Challenge launched in June 2012 by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, which includes zero loss or waste of food as one of its main elements.
Director of FAO’s Programme Support Division, Jong Jin Kim, speaking on behalf of all three Rome-based UN agencies, said “Reducing food loss and waste will make significant amounts of additional food available, and at lower environmental costs, which is also critical in view of the need to produce 60 percent more food by 2050 to meet the demands of a growing population.”
Donn Bobb, United Nations.