SAVE FOOD: Iniciativa mundial sobre la reducción de la pérdida y el desperdicio de alimentos

FAO supports food loss and waste reduction in Armenia

©FAO/Biayna Mahari / FAO
27 Feb 2019

Some 40 participants gathered today to discuss and validate a strategic roadmap for food loss and waste prevention and reduction in Armenia that was developed on the basis of participants’ recommendations and the results of the field studies. 

The workshop is part of an FAO project facilitating reduction of food loss and waste in Armenia, Albania, Moldova and the Republic of North Macedonia. This will also lessen Armenia’s contribution to climate change and the pressure on national food systems for increased production.

In Armenia, just as in all other countries, food loss and waste unnecessarily and significantly contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and to climate change, by producing, processing and distributing food that is eventually discarded. 

The project assists Armenia in developing and implementing national strategies for food loss and waste reduction, tailored to the specific needs of the country and aligned with existing national strategies and policies on agricultural development, food security, climate change mitigation, and others. 

Food loss and waste has implications on the food production sector, and food and nutrition security in Armenia through inefficiencies in the food value chains. That result in reduced availability of micronutrient-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables, reduced income of smallholder farmers, who are major food producers, and increased food prices, affecting urban consumers. 

According to Robert van Otterdijk, FAO agro-industry officer, the most pressing issues to be addressed in the country are the lack of accurate data on food loss and waste; unawareness of the complexity of the issue, its impact and causes and of the implications it may have for food value chain actors, consumers, service providers and the environment. 

In the course of the project, FAO assessed the food loss and waste situation in the selected food supply chains, interviewed farmers, processors and retailers involved to understand the causes and impacts of these losses. 

During the workshop, the scale, causes and impacts of food loss in Armenia were presented. Participants included representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Nature Protection, international and non-governmental organizations, research institutions, academia, professional organizations and the private sector. They talked through the proposed policy mechanisms and other recommendations to facilitate implementation of the strategy, and discussed opportunities for voluntary action by the private sector. As a result, a national roadmap for food loss and waste prevention and reduction was validated. 

As with other complex, multifaceted issues, the fight against food loss and waste requires a broad collaboration of all actors in the food supply chain to better identify, measure, understand and find solutions to the problem,” emphasized Gayane Nasoyan, Assistant FAO Representative in Armenia. “Today’s workshop provides an opportunity for all partners to agree on a coherent strategic approach to food loss and waste reduction.

Later, a regional communication and awareness campaign will be launched, and also a regional network of public and private entities active in food loss and waste reduction established. Both are aimed to improve sharing of information and resources, and collaboration in tackling the problem.