Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Food waste, climate change top agenda at FAO Near East Conference

FAO Media Centre: Measures to improve regional food security by cutting food losses and waste and by mitigating and adapting to climate change will be considered by FAO's Regional Conference for the Near East.    

Land and water constraints severely limit the potential for increased food production to feed a Near Eastern population set to grow from 380 million to 520 million in 2030. In addition to improving land and water management, lower food losses and waste would help provide the extra food without putting additional pressure on limited land and water resources.

Annual losses in grains are estimated at more than 16  million tonnes across the region. Some 15 percent of vegetables and legumes and more than 30 percent of perishable foods such as fruit, vegetables, dairy products, meat and fish are also wasted annually in the region. The Conference, from 14 to 18 May at FAO headquarters, is also due to discuss the creation of a Regional Trust Fund for agricultural development to supplement existing international funding.

Reasons for food losses and waste include poor storage facilities and limited cold storage. As for animal-source foods, losses during handling, storage, processing, packing, distribution and consumption are significantly higher than losses during production...

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