Colombo, Sept 30 (DailyNews) – The Minister was addressing a programme held at the Ministry of Environment on the occasion of the International Awareness Day on Food Waste and Food Pollution Reduction. According to the World Food and Agriculture Organization, about one-third of the world’s food production is wasted.
The Minister said: “That amount is 1.3 billion tons a year. About 40 per cent of the crops produced in our country are wasted and about 5,000 metric tons of cooked and uncooked food is thrown away as garbage every day. This situation is a huge economic loss to the country.
All countries are paying close attention to this issue. Therefore, our country has a target of reducing food waste by 50 per cent by 2030. At present about 820 million people in the world are suffering from hunger.
Enough food is being produced for all the people of the world but a large number of people have lost their meals due to the improper distribution of food. Worldwide, economic waste from food waste is estimated at US$ 939 billion. There are a number of factors that contribute to food wastage.
When we look at our country, food is being destroyed due to improper food processing, damage caused by animals, improper harvest from farmers and improper storage. High food consumption in the world as well as in our country is also a cause of food waste. The first recorded famine in the history of our country due to improper harvest was on the day of King Walagamba. This famine, caused by improper maintenance of canals and irrigation and invasion, led to massive food shortages.
Today, the world as a whole is facing a similar threat. There is also a risk of food shortages, especially due to the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the collapse of the job market and facilities network, rising food prices, the depletion of Dollar reserves in poor countries and the shortage of foreign reserves.
Food shortages have also been exacerbated by efforts by many food-producing countries to conserve their food reserves. The time has come for us to avoid food waste. The time has come to re-apply the value of thrift that our parents used to teach us in the past. Therefore, on this International Food Awareness Day, I suggest that we follow the example of “Arapirimasma” that our culture has taught us today. Arapirimasma is a modern economic science. That is, to manage the resources to the fullest extent possible.”