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Sidebar: Combating Postharvest Loss in the Fight Against Global Hunger


Bureau of the Comptroller and Global Financial Services
Report
December 16, 2013

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In Focus.

Combating Postharvest Loss in the Fight Against Global Hunger

Photo showing Michelle Los Banos-Jardina, a public affairs officer from the U.S. Mission to the UN-Rome, meeting with Bangladeshi citizens while promoting multilateral efforts at addressing food security issues.

Michelle Los Banos-Jardina, a public affairs officer from the U.S. Mission to the UN-Rome, meets with Bangladeshi citizens while promoting multilateral efforts at addressing food security issues. State Magazine

By the year 2050, the world population is expected to reach nine billion people. The increased population, coupled with changing dietary demands, will require a 60 percent increase in global agricultural production. Increasing food production is not enough. Roughly one-third of the food produced in the world goes to waste - 1.3 billion tons every year. In the fight against global hunger, we must also address postharvest loss.

Postharvest loss is collective food loss along the production chain, from harvest and handling, to storage and processing, to packing and transportation. In low-income countries, most food is lost well before reaching the consumer.

The public and private sectors are working together to ensure that farmers in developing countries have the necessary tools and infrastructure to reduce postharvest loss. Feed the Future, the U.S. Government's flagship initiative to reduce global hunger and poverty, addresses postharvest loss by improving the management of stored grains through better technology and processing techniques; supporting basic market infrastructures; ensuring that proper granaries, cold storage facilities, feeder roads, and processing facilities are available; and improving community preparedness for the shocks of unpredictable weather, catastrophes, and high grain price volatility. These efforts align with strategic goal number four, provide humanitarian assistance and support disaster mitigation, as well as:

  • Focus on smallholder farmers and support countries in developing their own agriculture sectors to generate opportunities for economic growth and trade.
  • Support the food security priorities of our host countries and promote collaboration at the domestic and international levels.
  • Help create economic opportunities in developing countries.

In February 2013, Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs Jose W. Fernandez delivered remarks on food security and minimizing postharvest losses at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C.

Learn more.
For more information, please read the key policy fact sheet:
http://www.state.gov/r/pa/pl/2013/204860.htm
View video.
Video remarks may be found at:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21Cl-Vg-Flw

 




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