Cities a key to eradicating hunger and eliminating food waste

Cities can and should play a crucial role in the “radical change” needed to address the problem of hunger, malnutrition and food waste, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said to mayors and representatives of more than 150 cities from around the world — from Mexico City and Barcelona, to Kyoto and Quito — gathered in the Spanish city of Valencia.

This is the third meeting of mayors of cities of the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact, a commitment aimed at combating hunger and food waste and improving nutrition.

“Fortunately cities are taking action and rising up to the challenge,” FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said. “High levels of creativity can be achieved if partnerships are forged with local actors, civil society, private sector and academic and producer organizations.”

He used his own experience with the Zero Hunger Program in Brazil, which lifted 40 million people from poverty and hunger. “A key component of success was the participation of cities,” he said. “Their mayors launched popular restaurants that served balanced and nutritious food at low prices and the cities privileged the purchase of locally produced food, contributing to strengthening the local economy,” he explained.

Cities occupy just 3 percent of the world’s land area, but are home to some 3.5 billion people — more than half of humanity. And these numbers are rising.

[Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations]

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