13:00 | 20/10/2020 Society
(VEN) - Stemming food loss and waste is an urgent task in order to reduce food insecurity and malnutrition and achieve sustainable development.
Serious food waste
According to the United Nations World Food Program (WFP), 30 percent of food produced for human needs globally is lost or wasted. Food loss and waste cause global economic losses of about US$940 billion each year, exacerbating food insecurity and malnutrition. The number of people facing severe starvation could double in 2020 to 265 million due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In Vietnam, according to a survey by CEL Consulting, a leading firm providing advisory, engineering, technology, and training solutions in the field of supply chain operations, about 25 percent of production output in large farming areas of Vietnam was lost in 2018 before reaching processing factories or distribution centers. Total damage was estimated at about 8.8 million tonnes, equivalent to US$3.9 billion (equivalent to two percent of national gross domestic product (GDP) and 12 percent of the agriculture sector’s GDP). The loss in the group of vegetables and fruits was the highest, accounting for about 32 percent of the output, equivalent to about 7.3 million tonnes. The meat industry also has a loss rate of up to 14 percent, equivalent to about 694,000 tonnes per year; followed by the fishery sector with a loss rate of about 12 percent of output, equivalent to 804,000 tonnes per year.
Action to prevent food loss
In order to implement the 12th UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 12), the Vietnamese Government is implementing the National Action Plan on Zero Hunger in Vietnam by 2025, with one of its key goals to eliminate food waste or loss.
In the framework of cooperation between Vietnam and Denmark, the Embassy of Denmark in Vietnam coordinated with the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) to launch a campaign to reduce food loss and waste. The September 26 to October 2 campaign included a photo exhibition around Hanoi’s Hoan Kiem Lake in order to help raise community awareness of food loss and waste, and encourage people to change their behavior and habits toward more responsible food consumption.
In addition, from September 29 to October 2, 2020, a series of other seminars were held in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, creating forums to connect and exchange experience, knowledge and technology among leaders and managers in the food industry as well as Danish and Vietnamese experts and entrepreneurs from industries and food processing sectors such as rice, aquaculture, meat, milk and fruit.
According to Danish Ambassador to Vietnam Kim Højlund Christensen, the event, coordinated by the Danish Ambassador with the MARD, will contribute to raising awareness of the vital importance of responsible food production and consumption, towards sustainable and prosperous development.