CropLife Asia Commends UN Call For Action To Avoid "Global Food Emergency"

Friday, June 12th, 2020 | 474 Views


A policy brief released this week by the United Nations (UN), “The Impact of COVID-19 on Food Security and Nutrition”, raises serious concerns regarding the effect COVID-19 is having on the most vulnerable parts of society already experiencing hunger and malnutrition. As a result, CropLife Asia is reiterating the need for greater coordination and collaboration across the regional food value chain to ensure a sustainable supply of safe and nutritious food.

Last year, the UN issued research indicating hunger, undernourishment and obesity are at critical levels globally and throughout Asia in particular. According to the 2019 State of Food Security & Nutrition in the World, some 820 million people did not have enough food to eat in 2018 – this was up from 811 million in 2017 and represented the third consecutive year of increase. Meanwhile, over 513 million of those hungry people (or over 62 percent) call Asia home. When it came to undernourishment, the statistics were also discouraging. In 2018, the largest number of undernourished people around the world (more than 500 million) lived in Asia.

“We’re seeing first-hand the diabolical disruption COVID-19 continues to cause our food supply chain in Asia. This UN brief only reaffirms the effect the pandemic is having and heightens the needs for action,” said Dr. Siang Hee Tan, CropLife Asia Executive Director.

“CropLife Asia commends the UN for its leadership on this critically important issue. From farm to fork, we all have a role to play in ensuring a safe and nutritious supply of food reaches those who need it most. It’s time for the regional stakeholders driving the food supply chain to answer this clarion call by the UN and work together to ensure a food emergency isn’t realised in Asia. It’s time for greater coordination and collaboration among governments, industries and civil society to deliver results. It’s time to get to work.”

Feeding our growing global population is a shared responsibility, and plant science continues to play a crucial role. Biotech crops are developed with improved traits such as increased yield, better resistance to pests and/or improved nutrition, among others. These traits are crucial tools that enable farmers to meet global challenges such as food insecurity. Meanwhile, farmers continue to rely on crop protection products to produce more food on less land and raise productivity per hectare. Without crop protection products, 40 percent of global rice and maize harvests could be lost every year and losses for fruits and vegetables could be as high as 50-90 percent.

 

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