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CropLife Asia Calls for Consolidated Approach to Securing Food Supply in Asia

Renewed call for the region’s food value stakeholders to work together to better ensure a safe and nutritious food supply, issued by CropLife Asia.

With the recent release of the United Nation’s (UN) report, the State of Food Security & Nutrition in the World on 13th July 2020, CropLife Asia set out to call for food value chain stakeholders to work together in view of the growing food crisis in the region.

In the report by the UN, evidence showed that hunger, malnutrition and obesity will continue to affect a growing number of people in Asia and around the world. The report concluded that almost 690 million globally went hungry last year. While this figure reflects a smaller number compared to the 2018 estimate due to critical data updates, it represents an overall increase of nearly 60 million people over the past five years and signals a slow but steady rise in worldwide chronic hunger since 2014. Meanwhile, Asia continues to maintain a troubling distinction: it is home to the greatest number of hungry as well as undernourished people.

The recent COVID-19 pandemic was also identified by many authorities as a threat to food security across the world as many countries restrict air travel and movement into various cities. This has serious implications on export and import of food supplies particularly for countries that rely heavily on imports for food supply.

A separate policy brief was released by the UN to address issues on food supply security in these challenging times. The Impact of COVID-19 on Food Security and Nutrition, raised serious concerns regarding the effect COVID-19 is having globally on the most vulnerable parts of society already experiencing hunger and malnutrition.

“Sadly, another year has produced another UN report confirming that the troubling food crisis trends in Asia and around the world continue,” said Dr. Siang Hee Tan, CropLife Asia Executive Director. “Ensuring an ample supply of affordable and nutritious food reaches those who need it most is not a government, civil society or private sector responsibility – it’s all our responsibility.

“From farm to fork, it’s high time Asia’s food value chain stakeholders worked together to deliver greater cooperation and collaboration in addressing these troubling trends and Asia’s growing food crisis. We can do better, and we must do better.”

Feeding the growing global population is a shared responsibility, working together with key stakeholders and leveraging on plant science technologies, would empower farmers to meet global challenges in the growing demand for food supply. [APBN]