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The APO is emphasizing more inclusive, innovation-led productivity growth in the Asia-Pacific while promoting the adoption of Green Productivity and safe food practices. Improving agricultural productivity is essential for promoting long-term food security and poverty reduction. Decreasing food waste and losses due to poor storage or inefficient processing guarantees the availability of more food. Proper storage helps preserve the quality and nutritional value of food while preventing spoilage. It can also help prevent foodborne illnesses caused by harmful bacteria, make food available beyond the production area and season, offer diverse nutrients, and increase food security.
Cold storage after harvest makes a difference in the shelf life of perishable products. Most growers in developing countries lack farm-to-cold storage facilities, and perishable produce is often left in the open or kept at ambient temperature. One solution for this is to organize small farmers and producers to establish efficient storage, marketing, and distribution systems to minimize food losses, particularly of perishable products. Better storage would contribute to national and regional food security and raise the quality and nutritive value of food from farms to consumers.
An APO workshop on Food Storage Models was held 30 November–2 December to discuss and share innovative food storage models and facilities and promote their adoption among smallholder farmers and commercial enterprises in member countries. The workshop concluded that agricultural productivity could be increased by reducing food loss and waste with proper storage, appropriate food storage policies, and strategies to strengthen national food security. Forty-eight participants from 13 countries attended the workshop.