Road to Rio: Improving energy use key challenge for world’s food systems

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14 June 2012 – Agriculture’s heavy dependence on fossil fuels is undermining the sector’s ability to feed the world, perpetuating poverty and undermining efforts to build a more sustainable world economy, FAO said today.

The warning came as the UN Food and Agriculture Organization released a study on “energy-smart” food production and use ahead of the Rio+20 conference on sustainable development, where global energy challenges will figure high on the agenda.

World food stocks to rise, but hunger persists in Sahel region, Middle East – UN report

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13 June 2012 – Despite an overall positive outlook for cereal production worldwide, several regions of the world are expected to struggle with the consequences of poor rainfall, severe weather, armed conflict and displacement, the United Nations said today.

According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) quarterly forecast of agricultural production and food – the Crop Prospects and Food Situation report – a record increase of 3.2 per cent in world cereal production is expected in 2012, totalling an estimated 2, 419 million tonnes, mainly on the strength of a bumper maize crop in the United States.

FAO, partners, urge greater push to reduce food losses and waste

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13 June 2012, Rome - The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and key partners are calling on companies and organizations worldwide to join in the SAVE FOOD initiative, a global effort designed to cut down on food losses and waste.

Established in 2011, SAVE FOOD, the Global Initiative on Food Losses and Waste Reduction, aims to reduce the estimated 1.3 billion tonnes of food that is lost or wasted every year. Annual losses are valued at nearly one trillion U.S. dollars.

FAO Food Price Index drops sharply

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7 June 2012, Rome - Global food prices have dropped sharply in May due to generally favourable supplies, growing global economic uncertainties and a strengthening of the US dollar, FAO said today.

The FAO Food Price Index, measuring the monthly change in international
prices of a basket of food commodities, fell by four percent in May. It averaged 204 points and was 9 points down from April. This was the lowest level since September 2011 and about 14 percent below its peak in February 2011.
 

Neglected indigenous food can be important tool to fight hunger – UN official

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31 May 2012 – Indigenous foods which have been neglected by the food industry and urban consumers can be an important tool to alleviate hunger and malnutrition, a United Nations official said today.

Hunger eradication essential to achieve sustainable development – UN food agency

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30 May 2012 – Sustainable development will not be achieved unless hunger and malnutrition are eradicated, the United Nations food agency warned today in a new report.

“We cannot call development sustainable while this situation persists, while nearly one out of every seven men, women and children are left behind, victims of undernourishment,” said the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), José Graziano da Silva, in a news release.

Cooperatives can offer solutions to hunger and poverty, President of Costa Rica says

29 May 2012, Rome - The cooperative model offers unique solutions to "free people from hunger and poverty in a globalized world in which crises, including climate change, touch everyone", President of Costa Rica Laura Chinchilla said today in a speech at FAO.

Using the example of her country, the President stressed that cooperatives can make a major contribution to sustainable development and the competitiveness of small agricultural producers.

FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva held up Costa Rica as a model of the economic, social and environmental role cooperatives can play. He cited the production by Costa Rican cooperatives of carbon neutral coffee as an example.

UN launches emergency operation to feed thousands who fled Malian conflict

22 May 2012 – The United Nations food and refugee agencies today launched a joint emergency operation to respond to the food needs of hundreds of thousands of people who have fled conflict in Mali and crossed the border into neighbouring countries.

UN Rome-based agencies welcome G8 commitment to keep food security high on global agenda

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"Agriculture is a powerful tool for reducing poverty and hunger. Events of recent years - such as food price increases, droughts, growing climate change impacts and other emergencies - have put agriculture high on the international agenda. We should be clear that agriculture is the solution. Economic growth generated by agriculture is more than twice as effective in reducing poverty as growth in other sectors. Agricultural development is also an effective means of assisting developing countries in building capacity and infrastructure as well as introducing innovation and technology.

FAO Near East Conference plans to halve food waste in 10 years

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18 May 2012, Rome - FAO's 31st Regional Conference for the Near East today called for a 50 percent reduction of food losses and food waste in the region in order to improve regional food security.

Concluding a week-long session here, the Conference called on FAO to assist its Member Countries in drawing up a plan to halve the amount food they currently lose or waste in the next ten years.

Annual losses in grains are estimated at more than 16  million tonnes across the region. Some 15 percent of vegetables and legumes and more than 30 percent of perishable foods such as fruit, vegetables, dairy products, meat and fish are also wasted annually.

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