The State of Food and Agriculture

On June 4th 2013, the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN) launched their flagship annual publication: The State of Food and Agriculture (SOFA). The publication provides statistics, figures and science-based assessments of important issues in the field of food and agriculture.

Some key figures in this year’s report include that worldwide two billion people suffer from one or more micronutrient deficiencies, while 1.4 billion are overweight, of whom 500 million are obese. 26 percent of all children under five are stunted and 31 percent suffer from Vitamin A deficiency.

Following the release of the report, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva has called for resolute efforts to eradicate malnutrition as well as hunger from around the world.

The report states that healthy diets and good nutrition must start with food and agriculture, and improved food systems as a whole. As the accompanying press release  highlights: the way we grow, raise, process, transport and distribute food all influence what we eat. Improved food systems can therefore make food more affordable, diverse and nutritious.

“A great many actors and institutions must work together across sectors to more effectively reduce undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies and overweight and obesity,” the report says.

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