Reducing waste in agricultural production strengthens production and increased international cooperation can help achieve this goal, Deputy Agriculture and Rural Affairs Minister Ma Youxiang said on Tuesday.
He was briefing the media on the three-day International Conference on Food Loss and Waste which will open Thursday in Jinan, Shandong Province, a major grain-producing area.
The conference was proposed by President Xi Jinping in November at the 15th G20 Leaders’ Summit.
It aims to strengthen the global exchange of agricultural talent, technology and policymaking and reduce unnecessary waste, especially in food production, storage and consumption, Ma said.
Globally, food loss accounts for 14% of production, Ma said, citing a 2019 report from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
“It’s a pretty big share. Food is produced with a lot of effort, but 14 percent is just wasted,” he said.
The problem affects both developing and developed countries.
In developing countries, waste is mainly due to poor infrastructure and outdated technology and equipment, while developed countries lacked the motivation to reduce losses, Ma said.
He said global food production is around 2.8 billion metric tons. If waste were reduced by 1 percentage point, 28 million tonnes of food would be saved, enough to feed 70 million people for a year, or the equivalent of producing 5.33 million hectares of farmland, did he declare.
Ma said the effort to reduce food waste will be a “systematic project” that involves global cooperation, as reforms are needed in areas such as food production and consumption, national supply chains and trade. international.
Ma said China has made huge efforts to minimize food waste, mainly by upgrading agricultural facilities and logistics infrastructure.
It was highlighted in this year’s “Central Document No. 1”, the first document released each year by the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council.
China’s top legislature enacted an anti-food waste law in April and stepped up publicity on the issue.
Ma said China values trade in the agricultural sector and is willing to help developing countries improve their food security.
The Jinan conference will showcase China’s waste reduction efforts as well as the country’s knowledge of agricultural equipment, animal husbandry, and IoT application in the industry.
Agriculture ministers from a number of G20 members, including Italy, the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Indonesia, will participate in the event.
Attendees will also include representatives of international organizations, diplomats, academics and foreign business leaders, Ma said.
The event will help build a global consensus, strengthen the resilience of global food security and contribute to the “zero hunger” goal that the United Nations has set for 2030 in their Sustainable Development Goals, he said. declared.
UN data showed 155 million people around the world lived in the shadow of food insecurity last year, a record high in the past five years.
The global food supply chain has been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with around 20 countries imposing limits on food exports. Locust outbreaks have also damaged crops in a number of countries.
Ma said China is a major producer of grains, the largest importer of food and the second largest exporter.
Its cereal production was 669 million tonnes last year, the sixth consecutive year exceeding 650 million tonnes.
“China has strengthened its ability to feed itself, a huge contribution to global food security,” he said.
The United Nations Food Systems Summit and the G20 Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting will also be held this month.