Page 156

Global fruit and vegetable production has experienced a remarkable increase. Output has been growing at an annual rate of about 3 percent over the last decade. In 2011, almost 640 million tonnes of fruit and more than 1 billion tonnes of vegetables were gathered throughout the world.

CHART 63: Per capita fruit production, excluding melons (2000-2010)

World production growth has largely been driven by area expansion in Asia, especially China, which has emerged as the world’s largest fruit and vegetable producer, with global output shares of about 20 percent for fruit, and more than 50 percent for vegetables. However, the familiar tendency for stagnant production growth in other developed regions also prevails in these commodities.

Beyond their monetary value, fruits and vegetables play an important role in improving diets. WHO estimates that low fruit and vegetable intake contributes to approximately 16 million disability-adjusted life years (DALYs, a measure of the potential life lost through premature mortality and the years of productive life lost through disability), and 1.7 million deaths worldwide are attributable to low fruit and vegetable consumption. WHO and FAO recommend a minimum of 400 g of fruit and vegetables per day – excluding starchy root crops – for the prevention of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity, and for the prevention and alleviation of several micronutrient deficiencies, especially in less developed countries. Meeting the rising global demand for fruits and vegetables can create opportunities for poor farmers in developing countries, but improved supply chain efficiency, lower post-harvest losses and investments in infrastructure will be necessary before farmers in many of these countries can reap the full benefits of cultivating these highly perishable crops.

Asia

Oceania

Americas

Europe

World

200

150 kg/cap

Strong growth rates in fruit and vegetable cultivation have also been recorded in food-insecure and low-income regions such as sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia. Horticultural crop production generates high economic returns per unit of land, offering promising income prospects, especially for smallholders and in areas where land is scarce. In addition, horticulture can contribute to poverty reduction by providing paid employment opportunities, because it is labourintensive.

Africa

100

50 2000

2002

2004

2006

2008

2010

Source: FAO, Statistics Division (FAOSTAT).

CHART 64: Per capita vegetable production, including melons (2000-2010)

Africa

Asia

Oceania

Americas

Europe

World

kg/cap

150

100

Further reading • The State of Food and Agriculture 2012: Investing in agriculture for a better future (www.fao.org/publications/sofa/ en/)

• OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2012-2021 (www.oecd. org/site/oecd-faoagriculturaloutlook/)

138

2000

2002

2004

2006

Source: FAO, Statistics Division (FAOSTAT).

2008

2010

FAO Statistical Yearbook 2013  

The FAO Statistical Yearbook is the foremost collection of statistical data on world food and agriculture. It provides a snapshot of economi...

FAO Statistical Yearbook 2013  

The FAO Statistical Yearbook is the foremost collection of statistical data on world food and agriculture. It provides a snapshot of economi...

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