September 28, 2015 – News Releases
|28 September 2015|
|Food wastage, losses must be APEC’s top priority, says agriculture official|
| (ILOILO CITY, Iloilo) Cutting food losses and wastage in the Asia Pacific must be given major attention as the region grapples with a booming population and climate change, a Philippine agriculture official has said.
Food losses and wastage are growing concerns in all types of economies that they have to be given importance, especially because studies show that about one-third of the total food production is wasted, Executive Director of the Department of Agriculture’s Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PHilMech) Rex Bingabing said.
“Because of the growing number of the global population and the significant figure of hunger incidence, there is a need to ensure sufficient supply of affordable, safe and good quality food,” he said during the opening of a food loss reduction seminar here Sunday.
Bingabing noted that due to new challenges in food production, such as climate change, decreasing areas of production and the depletion of natural resources, food loss and food wastage must be given serious attention.
The APEC economies, he said, have a big role in addressing these challenges since the majority of the global food production comes from the Asia-Pacific region.
“We also recognize that solving the problem is not solely the responsibility of the government institutions but also of the private sector, which includes the producers, processors, service providers and consumers (players of the food supply chain),” he said, emphasizing the importance of the cooperation of different economies.
The event, entitled “2015 APEC Seminar for Strengthening Public-Private Partnership to Reduce Food Losses in the Supply Chain of Fishery and Livestock,” is a good venue for exchange of ideas and possibly formulation of concrete steps to reduce food loss and food wastage, he said.
The seminar aims to strengthen public-private partnership to reduce food losses in the supply chain of the fishery and livestock industries. PND (as)
|Lack of technology causes food losses among APEC developing economies|
| (ILOILO CITY, Iloilo) The lack of access to modern technology has caused food losses during the course of production among developing economies in the Asia-Pacific region, a Philippine agriculture official has said.
“For developing countries like the Philippines, the loss comes from the post-harvest side,” Executive Director of the Department of Agriculture’s Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PHilMech) Rex Bingabing said on the margins of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) High Level Policy Dialogue on Food Security and the Blue Economy and Related Meetings here Monday.
Food losses vary from one economy to another, Bingabing said, noting that 20 percent to 30 percent of food losses in developed economies take place after the harvest.
“For developed economies, the losses come from mostly on what they term food waste. These are the wasted food, leftovers, and spoilages,” he said, adding that developed economies have better purchasing power to buy food than developing economies.
“Developed economies are buying more than they can consume,” he said, acknowledging that developed economies have efficient technologies to reduce food losses from production to post-harvest.
However, it is the other way around for developing economies, Bingabing said.
He noted that food wastage in developing economies is only at 5 percent to 10 percent percentage their food loss is higher, mainly due to poor access to modern technology.
For the Philippines, Bingabing said the government has initiated mechanization programs to address post-harvest losses.
“We have the mechanization program for different commodities. We have for rice, corn and high-value crops. So under the program, we are giving farm machinery, production machinery, and processing equipment and facilities to farmers’ cooperatives,” he cited.
For instance, he said, rice farmers in Nueva Ecija who have access to modern machinery, have reduced their post-harvest loss in rice from 16.4 percent to 10 percent.
The government is also looking at decreasing losses in corn production from 7 percent to 5 percent, said Bingabing.
“The idea is to (help) them (access) this new technology for them to have better productivity and reduce losses because they use more efficient machines for processing,” he said. PNA (kc)
|APEC urged to partner with schools in organizing forums, workshops on entrepreneurship for youth|
| (ILOILO CITY, Iloilo) As more young entrepreneurs start their own businesses, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies have been urged to partner with schools in organizing business forums and workshops that would boost the youth’s entrepreneurship skills.
In a forum here Monday, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Region 6 Officer-in-Charge Rebecca Rascon said such partnership in the province has “awakened” the creativity of young people.
“Every province has its own style or approach in promoting entrepreneurship among young people. In other provinces, we… conduct a business plan competition (among the students),” she said.
Aside from this, the DTI also conducts entrepreneurship workshops among “mothers and daughters, fathers and sons” on how to negotiate with buyers and how to price one’s product correctly, Rascon said.
“In most of the cases, the prices of products are not competitive,” she said.
At the same time, a parallel track has been institutionalized in the government’s K to 12 program.
The program, which increased basic education by four years, introduces entrepreneurship to students as early as in junior and senior high school, said DTI Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya,
She said that on their seventh grade, students’ business interest and skills will be assessed.
Maglaya emphasized the importance of the early introduction of entrepreneurship among young people as this would give them a bigger picture of what they would want to pursue in the future.
She said some schools in the country hold competitions on innovations and starting a business among their students, giving them the opportunity to actually run a business, even while they are still in school.
Director of the DTI’s Bureau of Domestic Trade Promotion, Rhodora Leano has observed an increasing trend of young people in APEC economies going into innovative business.
This trend helps boost inclusive growth, she said during a recent forum.
Leano noted that her office receives many applications for business registration from young budding entrepreneurs with promising, unique, and innovative ideas.
In the past, young people gauged their success based on their ability to find employment in multinational corporations, said Leano, who is also in charge of promoting and marketing the products of the country’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
But now, more people who are applying for business registration are younger, she said. (APEC Communications Group)
|APEC plays a crucial role in reducing food losses|
| (ILOILO CITY, Iloilo) The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) plays a crucial role in addressing the global issue on food losses, a Philippine agriculture official has said.
“APEC economies have a big role in addressing these challenges, since majority of the total global food production comes from the APEC region,” Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PHilMech) Executive Director Rex Bingabing said here Sunday.
Bingabing made the statement during the APEC seminar, “Strengthening Public-Private Partnership to Reduce Food Losses in the Supply Chain of Fishery and Livestock” on the margins of the APEC High Level Policy Dialogue on Food Security and the Blue Economy (HLPD-FSBE).
According to him, studies show that one-third of total food production goes to food loss and wastage.
The PHilMech director mentioned that food losses in production to post-harvest processes are prevalent in developing economies, because unlike developed economies, they have poor access to modern technology.
On the other hand, Bingabing said, developed economies tend to have higher food wastage.
Food waste pertains to food — after post-harvest stage — being wasted or spoiled.
“They have more money to buy food. They are buying more than they can consume. Most of these are wasted or get spoiled,” he added.
Bingabing also cited other challenges that threaten food production, such as climate change, decreasing areas of production, and the depletion of natural resources, concerns that APEC economies must address.
“Because of the growing number of the global population and the significant figure of hunger incidence, there is a need to ensure sufficient supply of affordable, safe and good quality food,” he stressed.
For his part, APEC Agricultural Technical Cooperation Working Group Lead Shepherd, Dr. Feng Dongxin, said APEC economies should lead in addressing global issues on food loss as a huge percentage of hunger incidence is in the region.
“Seventy percent of the hungry population are living in the Asia-Pacific region,” Dongxin noted.
Among the APEC initiatives to mitigate food loss and wastage is the Chinese Taipei-led APEC Multi-Year Project (MYP), a five-year program that aims to address issues in various subsectors of agriculture.
This year, Chinese Taipei partnered with the Philippines to host the APEC seminar, “Strengthening PPP to Reduce Food Losses in the Supply Chain of Fishery and Livestock”, which was attended by 80 delegates from 15 APEC member economies.
The APEC High Level Policy Dialogue on Food Security and the Blue Economy Meeting here will run until October 6. PND (kc)
|APEC to boost public-private partnership to address food losses in fishery, livestock sectors|
| (ILOILO CITY, Iloilo) Member economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) aim to boost public-private partnership to address food losses in the supply chains of the fishery and livestock industries.
The APEC held here Sunday the seminar, “Strengthening Public-Private Partnership to Reduce Food Losses in the Supply Chain”, as part of the APEC Multi-Year Project (MYP) led by Chinese Taipei and co-chaired by the Philippines.
In the past two years, the APEC MYP held seminars focused on grains and cereals, and vegetables and fruits.
In a press briefing on Monday, Chinese Taipei’s Academia Sinica research fellow Ching-Cheng Chang said the APEC needs to have more information on food losses in the fishery and livestock industries to identify policies and strategies to address the issue.
“These kinds of issues have many policy implications that cannot be addressed solely by the private sector nor only by the government. So we need to work as partners, and also among the APEC as a community,” said Chang.
She mentioned that the fishery and livestock sectors have significant shares in the global economy, as the two industries cover 70 percent to 80 percent of total food production.
The fishery and livestock sectors also contribute 50 percent to 60 percent of total global trade, according to Chang.
“It is very important that, (with) limited water and land available in this region, we emphasize the reduction of food losses and waste so that we can provide the food and ensure food security effectively and efficiently,” she said.
She further noted that the government should continue to invest in research and infrastructure, as well as in providing economic incentives for the private sector that will help reduce losses and wastage in the fishery and livestock sectors.
“If you don’t have good infrastructure, it would be very difficult for the private sector to play a role,” Chang said.
The private sector, on the other hand, can help in this issue in terms of loss assessment, by providing data to help the government make decisions and policies that would address the issue, she said, adding that the region’s supply chain is rapidly changing that it is very difficult to keep track of it.
“Without building the trust between the public and private sectors, it would be very hard for the private sector to release information. This information from the private sector is helpful for the government to come up with the right decision,” she explained.
Iloilo City is hosting the APEC High Level Policy Dialogue on Food Security and the Blue Economy until October 6. PNA (kc)
|APEC seminar tackles ways to cut livestock, fishery supply chain losses|
| (ILOILO CITY, Iloilo) Delegates to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Multi-Year Project (MYP) seminar “Strengthening Public-Private Partnership to Reduce Food Losses in the Supply Chain”, held here Sunday, discussed ways to cut losses in the livestock and fishery sectors.
The seminar was hosted by Chinese Taipei’s Council of Agriculture, in collaboration with the Philippines’ Department of Agriculture (DA) and New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries.
“The seminar will generate more creative and innovative ideas and solutions. We will review the current status and future perspectives of reducing post-harvest losses,” said Dong-Chong Hsiou, Deputy Director General of the Department of International Affairs, Council of Agriculture of Chinese Taipei.
Dr. Feng Dongxin, Lead Shepherd of the APEC Agricultural Technical Cooperation Working Group, estimated that 70 percent of the globe’s hungry population live in the Asia Pacific.
“Food loss and waste are growing concerns of all economies which has to be addressed and given importance, especially with the fact that according to studies, one-third of the total food production goes to food loss and waste,” said Executive Director of the DA’s Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PHilMech) Rex Bingabing.
During the one-day seminar, some 80 delegates from both the public and private sectors exchanged information on basic research, current trends, business models, and post-harvest technologies in the fishery and livestock industries.
The delegates who joined the discussion were from China, Japan, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, the United States, and Vietnam.
The output of the seminar will become part of the APEC High Level Policy Dialogue on Food Security and the Blue Economy (HLDP-FSBE) and other fora.
Some 900 delegates were expected to attend the HLDP-FSBE, which began on Sunday and runs until October 6. PND (as)
|APEC urged to specify targets in reducing food waste|
| (ILOILO CITY, Iloilo) Member economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) are being urged to identify their specific targets in reducing food waste.
A research fellow from Taiwan, Dr. Ching-Cheng “Emily” Chang, said each APEC member should define the targets it wants to meet, as well as the strategies it will use to reduce food wastage, which the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization estimated at US$1 trillion in 2014.
Chang is in the Philippines for the APEC Food Security Week and High Level Dialogue on Food Security and the Blue Economy.
To start identifying the specific needs, targets, objectives, and strategies, Chang emphasized the need to “recognize the diversity” of the region and each of the 21 APEC members.
“It is highly unlikely to have uniform targets for each economy,” she added, maintaining that the APEC dialogue can come up with benchmarks and best practices to guide economies in crafting their specific targets.
Food loss or food waste refers to economic losses arising from difficulties during food production to harvest, including the disposal of food due to overbuying.
Executive Director Rex Bingabing of the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization explained how different economies suffer from food waste.
He said developed countries experience food waste because “they buy more than they could eat” while developing countries, like the Philippines, suffer from food loss due to problems in food production to food processing to food harvest.
The type of economic loss from food production “depends on the economy”, Bingabing added.
Chang said the APEC decided to focus on food production and its losses “because the problems of small-scale procedures in this region make tracking post-harvest losses a very difficult task, which translates to difficulties in markets, policies, and strategies to address this.”
She stressed that both the government and the private sector must work hand in hand to help small-scale food producers prevent food wastage. (APEC Communications Group)
|APEC delegates identify ways private sector could assist in reducing food losses|
| (ILOILO CITY, Iloilo) Agricultural officials and industry representatives from around the Pacific Rim have identified two aspects in which the private sector could assist Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies in reducing post-harvest losses in all stages of the entire food supply chain in the Asia-Pacific region.
First is loss assessment, a research fellow at the Academia Sinica in Taiwan, Ching Cheng “Emily” Chang, told a media briefing here Monday on the sidelines of the 19th APEC Agricultural Technical Cooperation Working Group Meeting.
“We know the challenge we have for this region to do this kind of assessment, part of the reason is for the data computation,” she pointed out. “The supply chain in this region is rapidly changing and transforming, it is very difficult to track, and keep good tracking records, and also without building the trust with the government, it is very hard for the private sector to release this information, so this is one aspect that the private sector can provide useful information for the government to make the right decision.”
Second is loss reduction, Chang said. In this aspect, she explained that the private sectors need support from the government in terms of infrastructure.
“When in the post-harvest practices, especially the cold chain where a lot of energy is consumed, if you don’t have good infrastructure and energy support system, it is very difficult for private sector to play along.”
In addition, Chang said the private sector could also provide a good business model, “so that the old player of the supply chain can survive and can have a win-win situation”.
On Sunday, the workshop, “Strengthening Public-Private Partnership to Reduce Food Losses in the Supply Chain of Fishery and Livestock” was held here as part of a project designed to be implemented in three phases within five years.
“This is a five-year project,” Chang explained. “The first year, we focused on grain and crops; the second year, vegetables and fruits; this year on fishery and livestock.”
Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization Executive Director Rex Bingabing pointed out that there is a difference between the products of the livestock and fishery sectors and other commodities of the agriculture sector.
Bingabing said such commodities as grains, fruits and vegetables have clear figures on losses based on a huge number of studies undertaken on losses along the different value chain. These studies have enabled them to identify where the losses are coming from for other commodities.
For the fisheries and livestock sectors, he said the focus of the government is more on increasing their production.
“We are not looking yet at the losses along the value chain of fisheries and livestock,” Bingabing explained. “It is more on increasing production but not yet on looking at really the different activities among the value chain.”
He said the workshop on Sunday was an “eye-opener” for the representatives of the livestock and fisheries sector that they should start looking at the complete value chain and identify the losses incurred on this activity.
“The problem with fisheries and livestock is that we only have a rough figure, and there has not been too much study really on the losses,” said Bingabing. “This was actually emphasized during the workshop yesterday (Sunday). We were dealing with these figures but these are just rough estimates. And we don’t know exactly where along the value chain these losses really are coming from, so we have to identify first where these losses are really coming from. Is it from during the harvest? During the processing of the transportation? We have to identify what particular losses come from these activities, so we can clearly address the issue. So that is the problem with the livestock and fisheries.” (APEC Communications Group)