twitter RSS Feed linkedin acp contact

FAO declares 2021 as International Year of Fruits and Vegetables

The director-general of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), QU Dongyu, has launched the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables 2021 (IYFV) with a call to improve healthy and sustainable food production through innovation and technology and to reduce food loss and waste

africa 1129037 640Advocacy for fresh produce is consistent to strengthen the role of smallholder and family farmers. (Image source: lauradbusiness0/Pixabay)

According to a news release by FAO, the IYFV 2021 is dedicated to raising awareness about the important role of fruits and vegetables in human nutrition, food security, and health.

The FAO director-general described the initiative as ‘a unique opportunity to raise global awareness’. He noted that the COVID-19 pandemic had challenged people to find new ways to combat hunger and malnutrition, and said that IYFV would highlight the role of digital technologies in improving nutrition and market opportunities.

“In the current health crisis we are facing around the world, promoting healthy diets to strengthen our immune systems is especially appropriate,” Qu said.

While noting the challenges in improving production and agri-food chains, the FAO director-general encouraged countries to see the International Year as an opportunity to improve infrastructure, farming practices thereby supporting small scale farmers. He emphasised fruits and vegetables were a good way for farmers to create cash crops.

Fruits and vegetables are good sources of dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals and beneficial phytochemicals. FAO and the World Health Organization recommend that each adult consumes at least 400 grams of fruit and vegetables daily to prevent chronic diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease and obesity, as well as to counter micronutrient deficiencies.

The FAO director-general noted that food loss and waste in the fruits and vegetables sector remains a problem with considerable consequences,  and that ‘innovative technologies and approaches are of critical importance’, as ‘they can help to maintain safety and quality, increasing the shelf life of fresh produce items and preserving their high nutritional value’.

Food loss and waste reduction improves food security and nutrition, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, lowers pressure on water and land resources and can increase productivity and economic growth.

Up to 50% of fruits and vegetables produced in developing countries are lost in the supply chain between harvest and consumption.

Advocacy for fresh produce is consistent to strengthen the role of smallholder and family farmers, and fosters broader market options for millions of rural families. Gender equity opportunities are also noteworthy, as women often play leading roles for their households in producing and consuming fruit and vegetables.

The International Year of Fruits and Vegetables 2021 falls within the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition (2016-2025) and the UN Decade of Family Farming (UNDFF 2019-2028). These observances reinforce each other while providing greater visibility to small-scale producers and raise awareness on food security and nutrition.

FAO celebrated the first ever observance of the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste on 29 September 2020.


LATEST NEWS IN Agriculture

African food imports bill predicted to double by 2030

African food imports bill predicted to d…

Experts have warned that the cost of Africa’s yearly food imports could increase from US$50bn to US$110bn by 2030 if immediate measures aren’t taken to increase food production

Wildlife and forestry sector in the spotlight

Wildlife and forestry sector in the spot…

On August 22, the 23rd session of the African Forestry and Wildlife Commission, hosted by the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo opened in Kinshasa, putting the future...

Boosting investment for Africa-made cotton

Boosting investment for Africa-made cott…

At a partner’s conference on cotton, jointly organised with the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), donors were urged to mobilise resources for new partnerships.   

Nature-based solutions help farmers in Ghana

Nature-based solutions help farmers in G…

Organic pesticides, waste-based fertilisers and forest regeneration are just a few of the green initiatives being employed in Ghana to boost farming communities’ resilience to the impacts of climate...

Boosting soil nutrient mapping in sub-Saharan Africa

Boosting soil nutrient mapping in sub-Sa…

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is set to fast track an impact-oriented project in sub-Saharan Africa and Central America for digital soil nutrient mapping, after...

Gambia-Korea partnership seeks to double rice production to curb food insecurity

Gambia-Korea partnership seeks to double…

President Adama Barrow has received a delegation led by the Korean Ambassador to The Gambia, HE Kim Ji-Joon, at the State House in Banjul to announce the delivery of sample rice...

Prev Next

OTHER RELATED ARTICLES - Agriculture

Tropics susceptible to soil erosion: International study

Tropics susceptible to soil erosion: Int…

Regions located in the tropical climate zones suffer the greatest rainfall-related soil erosion, according to a study published in Scientific Reports, an online open access scientific mega journal

Kenyan farmers reap rewards of switching to maize

Kenyan farmers reap rewards of switching…

The Kano Plains, in Kenya's western Nyanza Province, are well known for rice production, but after years of poor prices and competition from imports, farmers are gradually switching to more profitable crops such as maize

Mauritius set to become an organic island

Mauritius set to become an organic islan…

Mauritius has launched the Household Organic Garden project at the Farmers Service Centre of Union Park, with an aim to develop and encourage organic farming in the country

CNH develops integrated water mobilisation and irrigation systems in Tunisia

CNH develops integrated water mobilisati…

CNH Industrial has hosted an event to mark the successful conclusion of a joint water management project in southwest Tunisia

Kenya purchases tractors for Kwale food production

Kenya purchases tractors for Kwale food …

The Kwale county government has spent more than US$900,000 in buying tractors, motorcycles and ambulances for use in emergency services offered to Kwale residents

Green energy increases on-farm production

Green energy increases on-farm productio…

The role of renewable energy within the farming mix is to be discussed at an Agri-Tech East meeting, ‘We’ve Got the Power; On-Farm Solutions to Energy Demands’ on 23 May...

Burkina Faso to dump GM cotton

Burkina Faso to dump GM cotton

Burkina Faso has decided to phase out genetically modified (GM) cotton in favour of the conventional variety, following complaints from farmers concerning quality 

Corn export could lead to shortage in South Africa

Corn export could lead to shortage in So…

A government-backed plan to export a record corn surplus may leave South African silos drained of the country’s staple food by the end of April

Nigeria distributes fertilisers to empower female farmers

Nigeria distributes fertilisers to empow…

The Nigerian government, in collaboration with Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), has announced that it will distribute 8,000 bags of fertilisers to female farmers as part of a UN empowerment programme...

Kenyan researchers reveal lifesaving properties of cactus for livestock

Kenyan researchers reveal lifesaving pro…

Cactus could sustain African livestock during drought, according to scientists at the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI)

New study tracks agricultural progress and how successful guidelines can be replicated

New study tracks agricultural progress a…

Eradicating poverty through agriculture depends on whether a country has enough agricultural land, how fertile it is, and the demographic pressures

Nigeria approves commercial release of genetically modified cowpea

Nigeria approves commercial release of g…

The Nigerian Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) has permitted the commercial release of genetically modified cowpea to the farmers

Prev Next