CropLife Asia Sounds Call To Thank Region’s Farmers This Lunar New Year
Monday, February 11th, 2019 | 269 Views
With the advent of the Lunar New Year and celebrations commencing in Asia and around the world, CropLife Asia is taking the opportunity to recognise Asia’s Farmers for the critical role they play in feeding a growing global population—and ensuring the supply of safe and nutritious food enjoyed during the festive season.
Data released through the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) 2018 State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World Report indicates that global hunger is on the rise again, with an estimated 821 million people suffering from chronic food deprivation. In Asia, the projected Prevalence of Undernourishment (PoU) is 11.4 percent, representing more than 515 million people. At the same time, the FAO has projected the world’s population to reach 10 billion by 2050.
With the demand for more food to feed a growing planet, the role of farmers is more important than ever before. Asia is home to the smallest-sized farms and the largest number of smallholder farmers globally. It’s estimated that 85 percent of the world’s 525 million smallholder farmers live and work within our continent—with around 100 million in Southeast Asia alone.
“Throughout the region and across the many cultures of Asia, food is a crucial common denominator—and that’s particularly true during the festive season,” said Dr. Siang Hee Tan, Executive Director of CropLife Asia. “Whether it’s the nian gao prepared in China this time of year, the bánh chưng enjoyed in Vietnam during Tet, Singapore’s lo hei, or any number of special dishes synonymous with the season around Asia, the food we eat during the Lunar New Year is cherished and central to making the celebrations memorable.”
“Making this all possible are the smallholder farmers of Asia who grow the safe and nutritious food we enjoy during Lunar New Year. These Food Heroes produce more food in the face of growing challenges—including less arable land, fewer natural resources, and greater impact from climate change—and we owe them our gratitude, appreciation and support.”
The technological innovations of plant science continue to enable smallholder farmer in Asia and around the world to grow more safe and nutritious food with fewer resources and less impact on the world around us. Since the adoption of biotech crops in 1996, more than 183 million hectares of land have been saved from plowing and cultivation. Meanwhile, crop protection products have helped triple the production of major crops since 1960.