FAO Liaison Office in New York

Fruit and vegetables become UN’s centerpiece for 2021


The 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly has declared 2021 as the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables. The initiative aims at raising awareness on the nutritional and health benefits of fruit and vegetable consumption.

The United Nations (UN) acknowledge the inextricable links that exist between agriculture and the entire food system, specifically noting the significant contribution of fruits and vegetables to the food security, generation of income, and employment of smallholders and family farmers. Specific emphasis is placed on the empowerment of women through education, recognizing their role in sustainable farming practices.

In that respect, the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables is meant to serve as a launchpad for the uptake of effective actions that will strengthen the role of smallholder and family farmers in sustainable farming and production. Such actions are expected to have a positive impact in reducing hunger and poverty, enhancing food and nutrition security, improving livelihoods, and contributing to better natural resource management.

Moreover, the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables represents a platform to sensitize the public about the high levels of food loss and waste in the supply and value chains. In this regard, it is complemented by the recently declared International Day of Food Loss and Waste. 

The International Year of Fruits and Vegetables is directly linked to the 2030 Agenda, and in particular to the Sustainable Development Goals SDG2 (ending hunger, improving nutrition, and promoting sustainable agriculture), SDG3 (ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being), and SDG12 (ensuring sustainable consumption and production patters). The resolution is the latest in a series of actions taken by the UN to support agriculture and healthy nutrition. These actions include the launches of the United Nations Decade of Action on Nutrition (2016-2025), and the United Nations Decade of Family Farming (2019-2028).

The observance of the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables will be facilitated by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.