FAO Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean

Caribbean experts strategize for a reduction in Jamaica’s food losses and waste

A recent report by FAO shows that 20 – 30% of national domestic food production is lost annually, equivalent to $7 billion Jamaican dollars.

© Miguel Herrera/FAO

Jamaican food and agriculture stakeholders are looking to promote a zero-tolerance approach to food losses and waste during a workshop with regional experts being convened from November 1-3, 2017 in Kingston, Jamaica. The experts will meet to offset the development of a national strategy for enhancing the governance of food losses and waste prevention and reduction in Jamaica.

The Technical Workshop on Enhancing the Governance of Food Losses and Waste Prevention and Reduction: The Case of Jamaicawill host over 40 members of Jamaica’s public and private sectors, academia and civil society along with regional experts from the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), and public and private sector agencies in Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Brazil, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago. In addition to focal group discussions, the participants will spend two days in the field experiencing first-hand some of the farming and distribution areas, to later mull over the best approach and elements of a national strategy for establishing legal frameworks and creating opportunities for preventing and reducing food losses and waste in Jamaica.

This initiative contributes to Jamaica’s national commitments to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2 and 12 on zero hunger and responsible consumption and production, respectively. It also follows a national baseline study, conducted by the FAO, into the state of Jamaica’s food losses and waste and which highlights several potential initiatives, for consideration, in order to coordinate regional efforts and resources for food losses and waste management.

The national strategy is a by-product of the Regional Strategy for the Prevention and Reduction of Food Losses and Waste developed through the Regional Experts Network for Latin America and the Caribbean. The strategy will also serve as a guide for stakeholders in Jamaica’s food production system and help in improving Jamaica’s post- harvest management of agricultural crops.

FAO’s support in reducing Jamaica’s food losses and waste

Jamaica, like other countries of the Caribbean region, face the challenge of food losses and waste at varying levels between harvesting, production and commercialisation. A recent report by FAO shows that 20 – 30% of national domestic food production is lost annually, equivalent to $7 billion. This has raised a concern for the country’s food security and sustainability and the need for the improved management of Jamaica’s food system to prevent and reduce food losses and waste.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) supports countries like Jamaica in establishing national committees to be used as a platform for driving actions towards reducing losses and waste. This technical workshop is integral in that process and sets the stage for ‘moving from losses to solutions’ through the sharing of regional experiences, discussions on the challenges and opportunities involved in managing food losses and waste and the formulation of an intersectoral working group on preventing and reducing food losses and waste.

The workshop, which is being organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization, supports FAO’s Strategic Programme on Efficient and Inclusive Food Systems which helps countries across the Caribbean in strengthening capacity in the prevention and reduction of Food Losses and Waste. 

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