Qu Dongyu, Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), has designated 2021 as the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables.
According to the organization’s message, the proclaimed IYFV-2021 is an opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of fruits and vegetables for nutrition, food security and health.
The FAO Director-General noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has forced humankind to look for new ways to fight hunger and malnutrition, and stressed that the IGOF will demonstrate the importance of digital technologies for improving nutrition and expanding market opportunities.
Noting the challenges posed by improving production and agri-food chains, Qu Dongyu urged countries to see the International Year of Fruit and Vegetables as an opportunity to improve infrastructure and agricultural practices and thus support small farmers. He stressed that vegetables and fruits can become a reliable source of income for farmers.
“Vegetables and fruits are valuable sources of fiber, vitamins and minerals, useful phytochemicals. FAO and the World Health Organization recommend every adult to include in their diet at least 400 grams of vegetables and fruits every day – this will help prevent chronic diseases, including cancer, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and will prevent micronutrient deficiencies,” noted In the organisation.
The FAO Director General noted that food loss and wastage remains a significant concern in the fruit and vegetable sector and that “approaches that can“ maintain safety and quality, extend the shelf life of fresh vegetables and fruits and preserve their nutritional value ”are becoming critical. …
“Reducing food loss and wastage contributes to improved food security and nutrition, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, reduced pressure on water and land resources, and increased productivity and economic growth. Up to 50% of fruits and vegetables produced in developing countries are lost in various parts of the supply chain from harvest to consumption,”.Qu Dongyu
It is specified that the promotion of the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables helps to strengthen the role of small and family farms, opens up wide market opportunities for millions of rural families. The issues of gender equality cannot be ignored: in many households, women play a leading role in the production and consumption of fruits and vegetables.
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