Tackling food losses and waste in the Near East and North Africa
25 February 2014, Rome – Reducing high food losses and waste will be critical to improving food availability and reducing stress on natural resources in the fast-growing Near East and North Africa region, says FAO. The region relies on imports to meet 50 percent of its food needs, yet it loses up to a third of the food it produces at home – 14-19 percent of its grains, 26 percent of fish and seafood, 13 percent of its meat, and 45 percent of all fruits and vegetables produced. According to FAO’s research, however, there is a lack of sufficient and accurate regional information on how food is lost and wasted and why. Still, information available on North Africa and West and Central Asia shows that roughly 68 percent of food losses and waste occur during production, handling, processing and distribution of food.
Elhadi YahiaKazuz is an agro-industry and infrastructure officer at FAO’s Regional Office for the Near East and North Africa. In the following interview he elaborates on the most prominent issues contributing to food loss and food waste in the region, and what governments need to do in order to bring food loss and food waste down.
Produced by: Sandra Ferrari