The Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Mr. José Graziano da Silva has joined calls for a renewed global commitment to zero tolerance for food loss and waste makes economic sense, reports NaijaAgroNet.
Graziano da Silva, made this call at a sideline event at the ongoing 72nd session of the UN General Assembly with focus on tackling food loss and waste as a pathway to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 2: Zero Hunger, declaring that "Zero tolerance for food loss and waste makes economic sense.”
He buttressed his point, with recent report that every $1 invested in food loss and food waste policies brings $14 in return, Graziano da Silva stressed that "Investing in measures to prevent food loss and food waste also means making investments in pro-poor policies as it promotes sustainable food systems for a zero hunger world."
Noting that one-third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally each year. This loss and waste occurs throughout the supply chain, from farm to fork. Beyond food, it represents a waste of labour, water, energy, land and other inputs. If food loss and waste were a country, it would rank as the third highest national emitter of greenhouse gases.
Graziano da Silva joined Gilbert Houngbo, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), David Beasley, Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP), Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment of the United Arab Emirates, Josefa Correia Sacko, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture of the African Union as well as representatives of the governments of Germany, the Netherlands and Angola in calling for greater cooperation by governments, business, development partners, farmers groups and others to address the problem.
Of the 815 million hungry people in the world, the majority lives in rural areas of developing countries and are family farmers, pastoralists or fishers. They have poor access to modern means of preventing food losses and waste, and often local food systems are subject to gaps in post-harvest handling, transportation, processing and refrigeration.
By reducing loss and waste along the food value chain, healthy food systems can contribute to promoting climate adaptation and mitigation, preserving natural resources, and reinforcing rural livelihoods.