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Growing Food Crisis In Asia Calls For More Regional 'Farm-to-Fork Cooperation & Collaboration'

In the wake of the United Nations (UN) release of its 2020 State of Food Security & Nutrition in the World, CropLife Asia has issued a renewed call for the region's food value chain stakeholders to work together to better ensure a safe and nutritious food supply. Contained in the report is further evidence that hunger, malnutrition and obesity continue to plague a growing number of people in Asia and around the world.

Specifically, the UN research 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.

In another policy brief released by the UN last month, The Impact of COVID-19 on Food Security and Nutrition, serious concerns were also raised 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 our growing global population is a shared responsibility, and plant science continues to play a crucial role. Biotech crops are developed with improved traits such as increased yield, better resistance to pests and/or improved nutrition, among others. These traits are crucial tools that enable farmers to meet global challenges such as food insecurity.

Meanwhile, farmers continue to rely on crop protection products to produce more food on less land and raise productivity per hectare. Without crop protection products, 40 percent of global rice and maize harvests could be lost every year and losses for fruits and vegetables could be as high as 50-90 percent.

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