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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

FAO advocates monitoring food loss, waste

Anthony Nwakaegho/NaijaAgroNet

The Director-General, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), José Graziano da Silva has advocated for innovative thinking to keep retailers and individual households from throwing away food in order to speed up efforts to eliminate hunger globally, NaijaAgroNet reports.

 Graziano da Silva told participants at the Global Green Growth Forum (3GF) in Copenhagen that FAO estimates shows that each year, one-third of about 1.3 billion tons food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted and stressed that this lost or wasted food costs around 750 billion dollars, about N119, 557,350,388,487.12 annually and if reduced to zero would give additional food to feed two billion people.

According to him most food loss takes place in post-production, harvesting, transportation and storage, and is primarily related to inadequate infrastructure in developing countries, while food waste is largely a problem in the marketing and consumption stages in more developed countries.

"One of my priorities in FAO is opening our doors to potential allies. Fighting food loss and waste is clearly one area in which partnership is needed. Developing a global protocol can help provide clear measurements and indicators on which we can base guidance on how to reduce food loss and waste.

“Zeroing food loss and waste is one of the elements of the Zero Hunger Challenge launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the Rio+20 Conference last year. Because of all this, FAO has a huge vested interest in bringing about rapid reductions in food losses and waste," FAO Director said.

NaijaAgroNet recorded that FAO launched the SAVE FOOD initiative together with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Messe Dusseldorf while more than 150 public organizations and private sector partners are currently conducting case studies on food losses in specific chains that will help give guidance on strategies to upgrade the sectors concerned.

The organization also collaborates with UNEP, Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) and other partners in the Think.Eat.Save  campaign designed to target and change wasteful practices, especially at the retail and consumer end of the food-supply chain. 

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