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Apr 20, 2012

FAO Caucasus & Central Asia Conference - Obesity & Health Issues Greater Threat Than Food Security in 2030, 2050

Central Asia Map
Photo: University of Texas
On 19 and 20 April 2012, the FAO held its biennial Regional Conference for Europe and Central Asia in Azerbaijan. As part of the conference discussion points, the FAO released its report entitled Policies for Food Security in the Region: Challenges and Perspectives - Food Outlook Towards 2050.  Highlighted was fact that in the future, food security will become  less of problem in the Caucasus and Central Asia.  The real problem will be shifting diets that will lead to increased consumption of meat and dairy products.  Shifting dietary patterns will create related health issues such as obesity and heart-disease that will pose new public policy challenges.

Food security remains a concern in certain parts of the Caucasus and Central Asia. Looking forward to 2030 and 2050, this number should drop as the region is a major producer of grains and should benefit from increased productivity and sustainability policies. Current statistics estimate that potential harvest yields are 30-40% below potential.  As these are increased, poverty will decrease and farmer incomes will increase.  Healthcare will then become a greater concern than food security as these rural regions lack health facilities.

The FAO conference discussed the best agricultural methods to boost productivity.  Central to this issue is the efficient use of water resources and increasing yields without increasing fertilizer and pesticide usage.

About Margaret

CEO and Curator (The Food Museum) | Managing Director and Chief Editor (GR2 Global LLC) | Educator (UCLA PhD) | Researching and writing on global food issues, nutrition and health, sustainability, history (preservation), conservation (natural resources), and design.
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