Tue, 16 Aug 2022

SINGAPORE, July 7, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- With the release of the United Nations (UN) 2022 State of Food Security & Nutrition in the World (SOFI) report, CropLife Asia is taking the opportunity to stress regional partnership and collaboration among all food systems stakeholders in advancing policies that make safe, affordable, and nutritious food more accessible for everyone. 

As the 2022 SOFI Report details, the challenge of feeding a hungry world is now further exacerbated by climate change, COVID-19 and conflict. 

Specifically, the report estimates that between 702 and 828 million people were affected by hunger in 2021. Hunger continues to rise in regions such as Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean with the greatest number of the world's hungry residing in Asia at 425 million.[1] The prevalence of undernourishment also increased from 9.3 % in 2020 to 9.8 % in 2021.[2] The report also estimates that almost 3.1 billion people could not afford a healthy diet in 2020[3] with nearly two billion coming from Asia.

"The latest figures from the 2022 UN SOFI Report are a sobering reminder that far too many here in Asia and around the world face hunger, malnutrition and food insecurity every day," said Dr. Siang Hee Tan, Executive Director of CropLife Asia. "Food systems stakeholders and all of us have a responsibility to ensure everyone has access to a safe, affordable and nutritious supply of food. CropLife Asia and our members remain deeply committed to this critically important pursuit".

"Plant science innovations, including crop protection products and plant biotechnology, have an increasingly key role to play in driving food security in Asia and around the globe. Our partnership and work with regional governments to ensure regulatory frameworks are in place to bring these technologies to our farmers is more crucial than ever before."   

Among the game-changing technologies that can help drive better nutrition in particular is "plant breeding innovation" (or PBI). PBI is the term used to describe the constantly evolving ideas and practices that enhance the field of plant breeding.[4] This technology is also one of the shortest and most effective routes to improve global health through better nutrition. Gene editing allows breeders to work within a plant's own gene pool to try and reach the same endpoint as they would through more traditional breeding methods - but with greater precision and efficiency.[5] 

By scaling up proven nutrition interventions such as breeding crops for improved nutritional content, more than one million child deaths could be averted each year. Crops like Golden Rice enhanced with Vitamin A can prevent millions of children going blind from a Vitamin A deficiency. Crops that are bred to have improved oil content including Omega-3 fatty acids can have a positive effect and be good for cardio-vascular disease as well.

Additionally, responsible use of crop protection products (or pesticides) helps farmers grow more food on less land by protecting crops from losses due to pests, weeds and disease while raising productivity. The availability of safe, affordable and nutritious food is dependent on grower access to crop protection products.  

About CropLife Asia

CropLife Asia is a non-profit society and the regional organization of CropLife International, the voice of the global plant science industry.  We advocate a safe, secure food supply, and our vision is food security enabled by innovative agriculture.  CropLife Asia supports the work of 15 member associations across the continent and is led by six member companies at the forefront of crop protection, seeds and/or biotechnology research and development.  For more information, visit us at www.croplifeasia.org

[1] FAO, IFAD, UNICEF, WFP and WHO. 2022. In Brief to The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2022. Repurposing food and agricultural policies to make healthy diets more affordable. Rome, FAO.

[2] FAO, IFAD, UNICEF, WFP and WHO. 2022. In Brief to The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2022. Repurposing food and agricultural policies to make healthy diets more affordable. Rome, FAO.

[3] FAO, IFAD, UNICEF, WFP and WHO. 2022. In Brief to The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2022. Repurposing food and agricultural policies to make healthy diets more affordable. Rome, FAO.

[4] https://worldseed.org/our-work/plant-breeding/plant-breeding-innovation/

[5] https://worldseed.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/1_Gene-Editing-Fact-Sheet-Plant-Breeding-FINAL-9-7-21.pdf 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

SOURCE CropLife Asia

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