The International Year of Fruits and Vegetables #IYFV2021 raise awareness on the important role of fruits and vegetables in human nutrition. The United Nations is marking 2021 as the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables, spotlighting their vital role in human nutrition and food security. Also UN urges efforts to improve sustainable production and reduce waste.
In a message launching the campaign, Secretary-General António Guterres said that despite tremendous benefits of fruits and vegetables, “we do not consume enough of them.”
We do not consume enough of them.
#IYFV2021: Fruits and vegetables, your dietary essentials
“Fruits and vegetables are the cornerstone of a healthy and varied diet. They provide the human body with an abundance of nutrients, strengthen immune systems and help lower risks for a number of diseases,” he said.
“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the health and livelihoods of people across the world, we must come together to ensure that nutritious food, including fruits and vegetables, reaches the most vulnerable, leaving no one behind,” the UN chief added.
Mr. Guterres also drew attention to the strong links between food systems and sustainable development. He called on all stakeholders to make food systems more inclusive, resilient and sustainable. He focus in adopting a more holistic approach to production and consumption that benefits human and environmental health.
“Let us use this International Year to rethink our relationship with how we produce and consume food, and to re-examine our food systems and commit to a healthier, more resilient and sustainable world where everyone can access and afford the diverse nutrition they need.”
Consuming sufficient, or even more than the recommended amounts, of fruit and vegetables has many health and nutrition benefits. Rich in fibres, vitamins and minerals, fruits and vegetables are crucial for growth and development of children. They help boost immune systems.
They are also linked to lower risk of depression and anxiety, obesity and non-communicable diseases; promote gut health; and counter micronutrient deficiencies.
Not eating enough
However, due to a number of factors, such as availability, affordability, or lack of knowledge and awareness, many people around the world consume less than that amount.
Against this background, Qu Dongyu, Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) described the International Year as “a unique opportunity to raise global awareness.”
Speaking at a virtual launch event, on Tuesday, Mr. Qu also highlighted the role of digital technologies in reducing waste, improving nutrition and market opportunities.
He outlined the challenges in improving production and agrifood chains. He called on countries to use the International Year to improve infrastructure, farming practices thereby supporting small scale farmers.
Alongside, the also emphasized the importance of fruits and vegetables as a good way for farmers to generate more income.
The International Year of Fruits and Vegetables (IYFV-2021)
The IYFV-2021 was proclaimed by the General Assembly in December 2019. IYFV2021 will raise awareness on the important role of fruits and vegetables in human nutrition, food security and health. It will also help us in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
It will promote diversified, balanced, and healthy diets and lifestyles, reducing losses and waste and share best practices.
The International Year complements several other key initiatives including the Decade of Action on Nutrition (2016-2025), the Decade of Family Farming (2019-2028), and the Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health.
Objectives of Fruits and Vegetables #IYFV2021 #FruitsVegYear
- Raising awareness of and directing policy attention to the nutrition and health benefits of fruits and vegetables consumption;
- Promoting diversified, balanced, and healthy diets and lifestyles through fruits and vegetables consumption;
- Reducing losses and waste;
- Sharing best practices on:
- Promotion of consumption and sustainable production of fruits and vegetables that contributes to sustainable food systems;
- Improved sustainability of storage, transport, trade, processing, transformation, retail, waste reduction and recycling, as well as interactions among these processes;
- Integration of smallholders including family farmers into local, regional, and global production, value/supply chains for sustainable production and consumption. By recognizing the contributions of fruits and vegetables, including farmers’ varieties/landraces, to their food security, nutrition, livelihoods and incomes;
- Strengthening the capacity of all countries, specially developing countries, to adopt innovative approaches and technology in combating loss and waste of fruits and vegetables.
The UN General Assembly designated 2021 the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables (#IYFV2021). UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is the lead agency for celebrating the year with United Nations system.
The IYFV 2021 is a unique opportunity to raise awareness on the important role of fruits and vegetables in human nutrition, food security and health and as well in achieving UN Sustainable Development Goals.