Tag Archives: pulses

Rome-based UN agencies join forces on food losses(Dissemination of FAO News)

Rome-based UN agencies join forces on food losses

Switzerland to fund $2.7 million project with pilot activities in three African countries

 

Photo: ©FAO/Christena Dowsett

The three-year UN project will focus on reducing losses of grains and pulses.

20 December 2013, Rome – The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP) have launched a  joint project to tackle the global problem of food losses.

Around one-third of all food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted each year, amounting to 1.3 billion tonnes – or enough food to feed 2 billion people.

The three UN agencies will work together on the $2.7 million project funded by the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation to target food losses in developing countries, which can occur during harvesting, processing, transportation and storage as a result of inadequate infrastructure or lack of skills and technology.

In particular, the three-year project will focus on reducing losses of grains and pulses such as maize, rice, beans and cow peas – staple foods that play a significant role in global food security and have a major impact on the livelihoods of millions of smallholder farmers.

According to a 2011 report by the World Bank, FAO and the United Kingdom’s Natural Resources Institute, grain losses in sub-Saharan Africa alone are worth potentially $4 billion a year and could meet the minimum annual food requirements of at least 48 million people.

At a global level, the joint initiative will share knowledge on the most effective ways to reduce post-harvest losses and help countries introduce policies and regulations to cut down on wastage at national and regional level.

The project will also identify critical points for losses in pulse and grain supply chains in three African pilot countries – Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda – and identify and test potential solutions to issues such as ineffective harvesting and handling, storage moisture levels, attacks by rats, birds and other pests, and insect damage.

Food security

The UN project will contribute both to the Millennium Development Goal of improving food security and to the Zero Hunger Challenge launched in June 2012 by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, which includes zero loss or waste of food as one of its main elements.

“When some 840 million people are going hungry every day, we have an ethical responsibility to ensure that food produced is in fact consumed and not lost or wasted,” said Jong Jin Kim, Director of FAO’s Programme Support Division, , speaking on behalf of all three Rome-based UN agencies. “Reducing food loss and waste will make significant amounts of additional food available, and at lower environmental costs, which is also critical in view of the need to produce 60 percent more food by 2050 to meet the demands of a growing population.”

According to FAO, the 1.3 billion tonnes of food lost and wasted each year use 250 km3 of water and 1.4 billion hectares of land, and add 3.3 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases to the earth’s atmosphere.

“By mobilizing the individual strengths of IFAD, WFP and FAO, and thanks to Switzerland’s  contribution, we believe the project will have significant impact and influence in stimulating member countries to take action to reduce food losses,” said Kim.

Food loss occurs mostly during production stages – harvesting, transportation and storage of food – while food waste typically takes place at the retailer and consumer end of the food supply chain.

In total, food losses and waste account for about 30 percent of cereals, 40-50 percent of root crops, fruit and vegetables, 20 percent of oilseeds, meat and dairy, and 30 percent of fish produced each year.

(The News Article entitled, “Rome-based UN agencies join forces on food losses” has been taken from the  FAO website for further dissemination of the important issue of saving food from waste and loss in the supply chain. You can read the News Article at the following link:http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/211216/icode/#!)

One Morning of The Spring in My University Campus – Dr. Syed Zainul Abedin

Life in university is always a memorable event.It is not unlikely that an alumnus feel nostalgic when some thought on the university life comes across his or her memory.I encountered a passionate experience this morning when I went for a visit to the campus for some business.This campus is very special for my life and career.I got admitted in 1972 and left the campus in 1977 after graduation. Though the name of educational establishment was Bangladesh Agricultural Institute when I got admitted,this was transformed into a university later as the Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University.

The campus was decorated by the flowers of mango trees.The lovely inflorescences of mango covered most of the canopies of the mango orchard and plants scattered across the campus.The advent of spring is declared by the emergence of mango flowers.The Nobel Laureate poet,Rabindranath Tagore composed the famous poem,’Amar Shonar Bangla….(My golden Bengal)’ indicating that mango flowers bloom in the spring. The other plants that flower to welcome the spring are bauhinia,coral,shimul,polash,krishnochura and shaddock.All these plants were in the campus with their wonderful blooms.The fragrance emitted by these flowers had made the campus a paradise on the earth.Bees and butterflies were flying on the flowers to collect nectar assisting in pollination.There were birds to collect food from the flowers and other sources.

I walked to the horticultural garden.The protected area accomodated many flowers and vegetables.A large

rose garden was there with many varieties.The roses were pink,red,yellow,white,green and mixed.Some of them were very large while some were miniature types.Some had fragrance while others were without any smell.

The vegetables were tomato,cabbage,spinach,onion and many others.Most of the horticultral crops were grown for experiments to understand the production,profit and promotional potential.I met some teachers and researchers in the garden.

I talked with a teacher-researcher who developed some short duration mustard varieties to fit beteween two rice crops which is staple food of our people.He was a successful innovator and continues his work on mustard genetics and breeding program.I visited his experimental fields which reached the harvesting stage.There were some fields of pulses around the fabulous tower erected for holding permanent agricultural fairs.

There were some experiments on rice and wheat too.Various equipments were being used in the experimental fields by trained personnel.All looked very busy to make use of the cool morning weather.

Then,I went to the large cannon ball trees to see their amazing flowers.All the trees carried flowers on their trunks.The cannon ball tree is said to be a rare plant.It carries wonderful flowers that look like the hood of cobra.It is also said that the fruit which resembles cannon ball are poisonous.However poisonous the fruit or flower of this plant may be,I always felt a crazy attraction for this plant,particularly,its amazing flowers.

After the visit of the campus resources,I met a number of persons to accomplish my business.I was welcomed by them.Shared about my passion with them.It was a wonderful morning of spring in my beloved educational centre.

When coming back I looked to the avenue trees of mast tree and road side jackfruit trees.The jackfruit tree were bearing flowers on the trunks and main branches.The beauty of the campus was enhanced by the trees in the campus.