Thu. Oct 17th, 2019

Latin America wastes 127 million tons of food per year



In Latin America 127 million tons of food are lost or wasted annually, a problem that is exacerbated by the lack of training, technification and financing of producers, and by the lack of awareness of consumers, experts gathered in Bogotá told Efe on Thursday .

"In the less developed regions of the world, such as Latin America, losses are in the first part of the value chain, which corresponds to production, processing, storage and transportation of food," explained the coordinator of the No Waste platform , from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Germán Sturzenegger.

The expert, who participated today in the First Latin American Summit on Food Loss and Waste, said that the problem in the region is "because the producers of fruits and vegetables, which suffer the most, have little information and technification, as well as complications to access financing and have access to the market. "

According to the IDB and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the 127 million tons of food lost in Latin America are equivalent to 34% of the total produced and have a cost of 97,000 million dollars.

This waste takes place along the value chain of which production (28%), processing (6%), handling and storage (21%), distribution and market (17%), and consumption (28%) ).

By food group, losses or waste in the region occur in cereals (35%), roots and tubers (40%), oilseeds and legumes (20%), fruits and vegetables (55%), meats (20%) , dairy (20%) and seafood (33%).

Globally, the figure reaches 1.3 billion tons of wasted food per year, equivalent to one third of those produced for human consumption.

Although the situation extends throughout the planet, it changes according to each region.

Thus, for example, in more developed areas, such as the United States or Europe, "waste occurs at the end of the value chain, that is, in distribution, marketing and consumers," Sturzenegger said.

In this regard, Sara Granados, a food systems specialist for Latin America and the Caribbean of FAO, said that "although in the region there is an inevitable loss, which amounts to approximately 10%, it is the responsibility of all producers and consumers to reduce that figure. "

The commitment is urgent "if one takes into account that the impact of the phenomenon is social, economic and environmental," he added.

According to the National Planning Department of Colombia, 9.76 million tons of food are lost or wasted annually in the country, equivalent to 34% of total production.

For Granados, the indicator is "unfortunate" if one takes into account that the tons discarded in Colombia, which occur mainly in fruits and vegetables (62%) and roots and tubers (25%), could feed eight million people annually.

Given this scenario, the Seventh Permanent Constitutional Commission of the House of Representatives of Colombia approved Bill 301 of 2018 through which the policy against food loss and waste was created.

Delegates from Costa Rica, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Uruguay participate in the Bogotá meeting, which will conclude tomorrow.

. (tagsToTranslate) America (t) Latina (t) wastes (t) tons (t) food



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