INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF FRUITS & VEGETABLES
2021 was chosen to celebrate the International Year of fruits and Vegetables #IYFV2021
And it was a couple of months ago that its closing ceremony took place
During this event we had the opportunity to listen to some of the most relevant actors that played a role in fostering fruits and vegetables.
Some of them belonged to the institutional world, but others came from the world of entrepreneurship. Cases of entrepreneurs that were not the usual ones from the first world. They were female entrepreneurs from developing countries in very disadvantaged situations. Thus, proposals as the IYFV make it worthwhile to devote resources to them.
As already mentioned, the following were some voices of the institutional realm that participated:
- Mr QU Dongyu, Director-General Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
- A message from Mr Antònio Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations (UN).
- Her Excellency Raquel Arbaje de Abinader, First Lady of the Dominican Republic.
- His Excellency Stefano Patuanelli, Minister of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies of Italy.
- Mr José Ignacio Pinochet, Vice Minister of Agriculture of Chile.
- The Honorable Lawrence Omuhaka, Deputy Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock Development, Fisheries and Cooperatives of Kenya.
In the second part of the ceremony a bunch of diverse panelists stated their views. This panel discussion was featured by:
- Ms Patricia Araya, Alternate Representative, Permanent Mission of Chile to the Rome-based UN Agencies.
- Ms Dilara Koçak, Activist, Nutritionist, Turkey.
- Ms Sylvia M. Kuria, Young farmer’s leader engaged in the organic movement, Kenya.
- Ms Thamina Isayeva, Small business of drying fruits and Food Hero, Azerbaijan.
- Dr Benny M. Corcolon, Vice President, Research and Development, Tagum Agricultural Development Company, Inc., the Philippines.
- Dr Ted M. DeJong, Distinguished Professor & Pomologist Emeritus, Department of Plant Sciences, University of California-Davis, USA.
Now let’s dig into the ceremony content!
The first intervention of the ceremony was carried out by the Director-General of the FAO, Mr QU Dongyu. He highlighted that “despite the pandemic, the IYFV has successfully achieved all its four key objectives”:
GOAL 1. Raise awareness of and direct policy attention to the nutrition and health benefits of fruits and vegetables consumption.
GOAL 2. Promote diversified, balanced, and healthy diets.
GOAL 3. Reduce losses and waste in fruits and vegetables agro food systems.
GOAL 4. Share best practices on sustainable production by small-scale farmers.
Mr QU Dongyu also pointed out that “the FAO Strategic Framework 2022-31 seeks to support the 2030 Agenda through the transformation to more efficient, more inclusive, more resilient and more sustainable agrifood systems for better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life for all, leaving no one behind”. Therefore, FAO’s work must continue. For this purpose the “joint publication by FAO and the CIRAD (Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement) provides guidance to decision makers and growers on options for the improvement throughout their value chains. Production systems can be adapted to different environments and market types by capitalizing our vast diversity of fruits and vegetables. To this end the FAO has reinforced its collaboration with the International Society of Horticultural Sciences strengthening the importance of innovations, research and the development”.
An encouraging message was also left by the UN Secretary General, Mr António Guterres. He made mention to the urgent need for a more holistic approach to production and consumption. “We all have a role to play in safeguarding our planet, reducing loss and waste and ensuring that nutritious food including food and vegetables reaches the most vulnerable, leaving no one behind”.
Then it was the turn of different authorities from countries such as Chile, Italy or Kenya. All of them expressed their engagement to developing campaigns and policies that promote the adoption of healthy diets and sustainable agricultural practices. They announced their commitment to support agriculture through public policies that encourage more sustainable farming practices. Plus the continuous revision of the existing regulatory framework to promote strong farm institutions. They also explained initiatives to boost healthy consumption habits among the youngest population, where fruits and vegetables play a key role.
From the interesting and informative panel discussion, we would like to underline some of the most invigorating messages. However, since we have already shown you a big part of its interesting content, we would like to uncover the captivating testimonies of the panelists in our next post. So, do not miss them and stay tuned!.
We have the answer in one of our previous post from BananitaBlog: 2021! ThE InternationaL YeaR of Fruits & VegetableS