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Annual food wasted each year enough to feed 500m people: FAO

The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says the total food wasted every year in the world is enough to feed 500 million people.

“Around one-third of all the food produced in the world is lost or wasted every year,” FAO Director General Jose Graziano da Silva said.

The FAO chief added that this amount was enough to feed 500 million people without putting any additional pressure on natural resources.

A recent report commissioned by the FAO found that “every year, consumers in rich countries waste almost as much food (222 million tons) as the entire net food production of sub-Saharan Africa (230 million tons).”

Da Silva said one of the reasons of food wastage was “a tendency to excessive consumption in middle and high-income countries,” adding that eliminating this wastage was an important step in achieving zero hunger.

Earlier this month, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) expressed concern over the wastage of food all over the world, saying that countries need to invest in increasing storage capacities to meet the food requirements of the future.

“We are raising awareness among countries on food wastage and telling the governments and others to pay attention to it. In some developing countries it is an issue of distribution and storage,” UNEP Deputy Executive Director and UN Assistant Secretary General Amina Mohamed said.

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