Agriculture Minister Nicos Kouyialis has proposed a series of actions to combat food waste.
Addressing the 29th FAO Regional Conference for Europe in Bucharest, he said that the world economic crisis could be transformed into an opportunity to fight food waste.
Today, one billion people are malnourished while at the same time, FAO estimates that 1.3 billion tonnes of foods is lost or thrown away as waste annually.
Kouyialis said that amount of waste was four times more than the quantity of food needed to eliminate malnutrition.
At the same time, he added, greenhouse gases released from food waste were expected to rise by 40 per cent in the EU by 2020, whilst the population and available income are rising, without having a specific policy.
Kouyialis proposed that focus should be placed on prevention and on the rational use of food surpluses by promoting appropriate actions.
Such actions, he said, include the improvement of harvesting techniques, farmers’ training, storage and refrigeration facilities, industrial conservation of products, as well as of the communication and collaboration of all involved parties.
He further proposed that other actions to focus on could involve the promotion of local products, the activation of agricultural programmes, the reinforcement of Alternative Energy Resources, and through supporting and motivating governments and all involved parties to review their policies and actions in this direction.
During the Conference, the minister had meetings with the Prime Minister of Romania Victor-Viorel Ponta, the Vice President and Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Romania Daniel Constantin, as well as with the EU Commissioner of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dacian Cioloş.
He also had a bilateral meeting with the Director-General of FAO José Graziano da Silva. (CNA)