The UN General Assembly designated 2021 as the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables, which is a unique opportunity to broaden the debate on the role of fruits and vegetables in human nutrition, food security and in the health of individuals, in addition to helping with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) established by the UN. With this in mind, the Ministry of Health of Brazil, the National Cancer Institute (INCA), the WFP Centre of Excellence against Hunger, PAHO/WHO, and FAO finalized this week a series of Regional Dialogues, one in each of the five Brazilian regions. Each Dialogue had the participation of various local actors, researchers, civil society, universities, rural producers, among others, who presented innovative solutions to strengthen the production, supply and consumption of fruits and vegetables in their region. Recordings are available on YouTube.
Several actions are part of the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables, including those to raise awareness about the nutritional and health benefits of consuming fruits and vegetables, promoting diversified, balanced and healthy diets and lifestyles, in addition to reducing food loss and waste. All these actions are aligned to strategies to combat the multiple burden of malnutrition, especially the fight against overweight and obesity, the main theme of the Nurture the Future project, which is a partnership between the WFP Centre of Excellence, the Ministry of Health and the Brazilian Cooperation Agency.
Over the next few months, the Nurture the Future project will prepare documents that will support and encourage the fruits and vegetables food chain. These documents should also contain a section with recommendations for improving the consumption of these foods in Brazil and other countries, including mechanisms for implementing national activities and a description of the potential of public policies aimed at stimulating this agenda. The current challenges of the fruits and vegetables agenda in countries are many, but the consumption of those foods is essential to ensure healthy and productive populations at different stages of life.