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May 8, 2021
BUSINESS

FAO Conference: Romanian executive supports organic food projects

Premier Victor Ponta stated on Wednesday that the government he leads has taken the commitment to support all those projects that tackle the waste of food and at the same time ensure the existence of healthy food for the population, ziarelive.ro informs.  “We take pride in our potential and the potential of the region and we have to ensure the next generations’ access to healthy food. This is a great challenge,” the Premier stated at the opening of the Food and Agriculture Organization’s 29th European Regional Conference and of the 38th session of FAO’s European Commission for Agriculture, events that took place at the Palace of Parliament.
Victor Ponta pointed out that in 2013 Romania managed to export more food products than it imported. “We managed, after 20 years, to no longer import more food than we produce and even to export more and, in this way, to have food security and to be able to help other countries too. Romania is a project leader, along with FAO, for Moldova’s Support Fund in what concerns food safety in emergency situations,” the Premier stated.
Ponta added that the Agriculture Ministry will have to come up with a concrete program concerning food. But “not on empirical bases or based on Romanian inventions, but based on experience at European and world level, so that we would manage to have results too, not just to note this problem,” he emphasized. Last but not least, the Premier expressed his hope that the conclusions that will follow the debates organized at the Palace of Parliament will be applied in the participating nations.
“This conference that is organized in Romania after many years – last time it took place in 1976, when our current Agriculture Minister was not even among his parents’ plans – is an occasion for Romania to host an important conference and debates on regional policy not just in Europe but also in Central Asian countries, a debate concerning the fight against food waste, development and food security. (…) The results of these three days of talks can be used in the future,” Ponta added.
FAO Director General Jose Graziano da Silva on this occasion that “in this part of the world, we see a predominance of dislocated smallholder producers. Often these producers are unable to make investments in new technology along the food chain that would reduce spoilage and losses. Rapid access to markets is another problem for small-scale farms. Governments should consider introducing policies and support programmes that encourage the formation or development of producer organizations. This type of cooperation would enable small producers to increase volumes and engage directly with processors or retailers, or to develop joint pre-cooling and storage capacity. This in turn would not only reduce extremely high levels of losses and waste due to spoilage immediately after harvest. It would also prolong the shelf life of fresh produce, contributing to lower levels of consumer waste,” da Silva concluded in his message.

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