East Netherlands


Ahead of the UN Food Systems summit

Many people in low- and middle-income countries do not get enough nutrients because there are shortages of fruit and vegetables, and supply is one-sided and not always affordable. New policies are needed to increase production in a sustainable way and there is a need for research into how to diversify supply and make it more affordable. This is the conclusion of a group of researchers from Wageningen University & Research (WUR – partner think East Netherlands), including Bart de Steenhuijsen Piters, Ilse de Jager and Inge Brouwer, ahead of the United Nations Food Systems Summit.

The researchers delved into issues surrounding global fruit and vegetable trade to identify research priorities and suggest possible courses of actions for the UN summit, which will take place in autumn 2021. WUR is an official research partner of the Scientific Group for the Food Systems summit.

Several problems surrounding food systems in low and middle-income countries have emerged. It turns out that good seed and fertiliser is not universally accessible or affordable. There are problems with preservation and perishability of fruit and vegetables, which result in food waste. Similarly, not every consumer has enough income to choose fruit and vegetables in their diet, or knowledge about the health benefits.

Almost half of the world’s population does not eat enough fruits and vegetables

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Source: Wageningen University & Research, partner Think East Netherlands