United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Major Group: Farmers

CSD Roundtable on Waste and Chemicals
Statement by World Farmers Organizations under the Major Group: Farmers
We appreciate the opportunity to address the issue of waste: a critical component of CSD?s
three pillars of society, environment and economy. Consistent with our submissions
throughout this cycle, an important issue for farmers is food waste. Over 40% of harvests are
lost in some countries due to the lack of storage and rural roads. Farmers welcome the strong
call for rural infrastructure in the current draft. Still, more must be done to reduce post-harvest
losses and also to look further down the supply chain to reduce the similarly vast levels of
waste that occur in the consumer stream.
Reducing production losses and food waste is essential to making productivity gains. We need
to use more of what we grow.
Wasteful lifestyles and production continue to be barriers to addressing hunger, thirst and
malnutrition. Last year, FAO estimated that poorly developed systems for handling, storage,
packaging, transporting and marketing of agricultural products in developing countries results
in post-harvest losses ranging from 15% to a whopping 50%. The impact of this is felt most
acutely in the production of fresh produce, estimated at 30% globally. Fresh produce waste
results in the loss of vital nutrients such as Vitamin C and other water soluble vitamins which
have a significant impact on global malnourishment.
We would also like to draw your attention to the important issue of agricultural residues and
byproducts. It is dissapointing to farmers that these terms are referred to as ?waste?. These
materials are too important to be considered waste in the traditional sense of the term.
Besides improving soil fertility and yields, agricultural residues and byproducts serve as feed,
fuel and an essential source of cooking oil. All of these materials can be recycled, reused and
restored in the soil.
Finally, we would like to support the women's major group?s intervention during the session on
the ratification of the Basel Convention as well as the need for financial mechanisms required
to clean up waste and repair damage.