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FAO launches the UN’s International Year of Fruits and Vegetables 2021

A woman prepares tomatoes for transport at market in Manzini in Swaziland

The Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), QU Dongyu, launched the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables 2021 (IYFV) with an appeal to improve healthy and sustainable food production through innovation and technology and to reduce food loss and waste.

Proclaimed at the 74th session the UN General Assembly, IYFV 2021 is dedicated to raising awareness about the important role of fruits and vegetables in human nutrition, food security and health.

FAO, the lead agency for celebrating the year in collaboration with other organizations, launched the year with an international virtual event.

Speaking at the event the FAO Director-General described the initiative as "a unique opportunity to raise global awareness". He noted that the COVID-19 pandemic had challenged people to find new ways of fighting hunger and malnutrition and said IYFV would highlight the role of digital technologies in improving nutrition and market opportunities.
 

Qu Dongyu:

"In the current health crisis we are facing around the world, promoting healthy diets to strengthen our immune systems is especially appropriate."
While noting the challenges in improving production and agri-food chains, the FAO Director-General encouraged countries to see the International Year as an opportunity to improve infrastructure, farming practices thereby supporting small scale farmers. He emphasized fruits and vegetables were a good way for farmers to create cash crops.
 
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#IYFV2021: Fruits and vegetables, your dietary essentials

The International Year of Fruits and Vegetables 2021 falls within the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition (2016-2025) and the UN Decade of Family Farming (UNDFF 2019-2028). These observances reinforce each other while providing greater visibility to small-scale producers and raise awareness on food security and nutrition.

FAO celebrated the first ever observance of the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste on 29 September 2020.
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