By Yunus Turk
ISTANBUL (AA) - The global demand for agricultural products is set to rise by 60%, according to the head of the Federation of Food and Drink Industry Association (TGDF) of Turkey.
Preventing food loss has been a top priority for providing universal sustainable food access, Semsi Kopuz told Anadolu Agency.
All have the right to healthy and balanced nutrition, which all nations that signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, should work together to provide, he underlined.
He added that countries should primarily focus on eliminating the causes of food shortages, including climate change, wars, conflict and unjust income distribution.
He said: "Apart from countries, the private sector can also take steps, such as in efforts to prevent food waste."
Some 1.3 billion tons -- or one of three units -- of all food produced worldwide is wasted annually, he underlined.
"The UN's goal to end hunger cannot be reached only by raising production. Reducing food loss is the top priority," he stressed.
- Turkey should modernize agriculture
Kopuz noted that Turkey was still at a good level in terms of food self-sufficiency, but that the effects of climate change had become apparent despite all measures.
"Thus, we should take all steps in every field, from the farm to the dinner table, to prevent food loss," he highlighted.
He added that the government should rapidly modernize agriculture in the country for the food security of citizens.
Backing the UN's suggestion to increase food diversity, he said people should expand the kinds of food they eat, underlining that eight of 6,000 plant species meet over 50% of the daily caloric needs of most.
"We also should place some plant species under protection. Certain countries and companies have suspended the consumption of some varieties for a certain period so future generations can eat them," he said.
UN member countries commemorated Oct. 16 as World Food Day in honor of the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in 1945.