02 February 2021
2021: Year of fruits and vegetables
THE United Nations has dedicated 2021 the year of fruits and vegetables, so agriculture will become a central axis of economic development.
The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) officially launched the International Year of Fruit and Vegetables (IYFV) in December and the aim now is to raise awareness about the important role of fruits and vegetables in supporting human nutrition, food security and health, as well as in achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs).
The objectives of IYFV 2021 are:
Raising awareness of and directing policy attention to the nutrition and health benefits of fruit and vegetable consumption.
Promoting diversified, balanced, and healthy diets and lifestyles through fruit and vegetable consumption.
Reducing losses and waste of fruits and vegetables in food systems.
Sharing best practices on promotion and consumption, improved sustainability, supply chains and capacity strengthening.
Secretary-General António Guterres said factors such as availability, affordability, lack of awareness and knowledge, can impact an individual’s consumption.
He said: “As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the health and livelihoods of people across the world, we must come together to ensure that nutritious food, including fruits and vegetables, reach the most vulnerable, leaving no one behind.”
The FAO background paper states that fruit and vegetables can cause a high level of food waste at every step of the value chain due to their perishability as a category, and highlights that the sector’s approach needs to go beyond nutritional benefits alone and also consider it’s the environmental, economic and social benefits of fruit and veg. Up to 50% of fruit and vegetables produced in developing countries are lost in the supply chain between harvest and consumption. Reducing the amount of produce wasted can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase economic growth.