Reducing high food losses and waste is critical to improving food availability, achieving food security, and reducing stress on natural resources in the fast-growing Near East and North Africa (NENA) region.
The region relies on imports to meet over 50 percent of its food needs, yet it loses up to a third of the food it produces and imports, including about 14-19 percent of its grains, 26 percent of all fish and seafood, 13 percent of its meat, and 45 percent of all fruits and vegetables.
In light of this alarming challenge, FAO had launched in 2014 the regional program “Capacity Building for Food Loss Reduction in the Near East” to implement training and awareness-raising activities to strengthen the national capacity of local leaders of producer associations, food industry managers, and extension personnel on good practice in food handling and improved value chain management.
To celebrate the project’s success, FAO has hosted a closing workshop today to present and reflect the main results achieved in each participating country as well as to develop recommendations and a way forward with food loss waste (FLW) reduction activities in the region. The workshop also aims at identifying priority actions to promote the competitiveness and efficiency of the agricultural sector in developing countries and better utilization of scarce productive resources such as water and land.
[Photo by Dèsirèe Tonus | Flickr]