CARICOM states losing millions due to bad agricultural practices

CMC – The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) says Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member states are losing millions through poor pre and post agricultural practices.

Addressing the second regional dialogue on Prevention and Reduction of losses and waste in Latin America and the Caribbean, here on Thursday, Katherine Baldwin, of the FAO’s Statistics division said although limited, data on post harvest food losses from some CARICOM member states indicate that losses can range between 25 per cent and 55 per cent in commodities such as cassava and tomatoes at times up to 100 per cent for pumpkin exports.

Majeed Mohammed, one of the consultants, told the participants from the Caribbean and Latin America that based on research, the five critical loss points were identified as Agricultural Production; Post harvest handling and storage; Processing; Distribution and Consumption.

FAO consultant, Catalina Giraldo said in Latin America and the Caribbean, the single largest proportion of the food loss occurs in the production and consumer segments of the food supply chain.

According to the FAO, food waste refers to the discarding or non-use of food that was fit for human consumption by choice or neglect.

The first regional dialogue was held in the Dominican Republic in 2015 with this dialogue being the second, held in collaboration with the island National Authority for the Zero Hunger Challenge Initiative. This is an initiative, which aims to achieve goal number 12 of the Sustainable Development Goal that is to reduce hunger and reduce food waste by half by the year 2030.

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