Malaysians are throwing away 3,000 tonnes of food every day, according to Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI) director-general Datuk Dr Sharif Haron
Citing the statistics from solid waste and public cleansing management service operator, SW Corporation, he said most of the food wasted were food that were untouched and still edible.
As such, he said the government had initiated the Save Food Malaysia (MYSaveFood) programme last year in a bid to reduce food loss and food waste in the country.
MySaveFood was launched based on the SaveFood Campaign, a global initiative introduced by Messe Duseeldorf Group in Berlin, Germany in 2011, with the cooperation of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), he said, after the opening of the 33rd United Nations FAO Regional Conference.
Sharif said FAO estimated one-third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year ― or approximately 1.3 billion tonnes ― worth RM4.4 trillion got lost or wasted.
Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said that the government is working on creating a sustainable programme to address the issue of food wastage, and to eliminate poverty and hunger
Ahmad Shabery said Malaysia had devised a temporary social safety net programme to help them weather these challenging times of poverty and hunger.
He said a variety of programmes were in place to provide a more sustainable push in the quest to uplift the living standards of its people.
"For example, through MyBeras, the government will provide 20 kilogrammes of rice a month to about 120,000 of the country's hardcore poor families, in efforts to eradicate poverty and strengthen food security," he said.
On the other hand, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has likened sustaining food security to maintaining national security
"We have seen too many cases where when a country collapses, food is unavailable simply because the national security is compromised," he said, emphasising that that prerequisite to sustaining food security was national security.
Ahmad Zahid was opening the 33rd Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific of the Food and Agriculture Organisation yesterday (FAO), 10 March.
He said he was committed to ensuring that national as well as regional security and stability were strengthened and maintained.
"Only then can our food security agenda become a reality," he said.
He added that the government has identified three approaches that can help ensure food security and sovereignty in the nation
“Agriculture will have to cope with increased climate variability and more extreme weather, while at the same time meet the increasing demand for food, feed, fibre and fuel," he said.
Besides sustainable agriculture, Dr Ahmad Zahid called for the stimulation of private-sector investment in agriculture and to reduce poverty by utilising biodiversity in order to ensure food security and food sovereignty in the region.
“These approaches can further spur the region to better sustainable development, and I hope there would be active discussions on these subjects to the benefit of member countries,” he said.
Speaking of which, don't throw away your food right after the expiry date because you might be wasting some perfectly edible food: