Razzaque voices concerns about food wastage

Staff Correspondent

30 September, 2020 12:00 AM printer

Agriculture Minister Dr Muhammad Abdur Razzaque as stressed on curbing food wastage, saying that food wastage has a negative impact on food security, farmers’ income and the country’s economic development.

“Huge amount of food gets damaged or wasted across the world.  Food is also wasted in Bangladesh also at different stages starting from food production,” he said on Tuesday.

“So, food should not get wasted anyhow as many countries of the world has already started experiencing food shortage amid the ongoing pandemic,” he warned.

He made this remark at a webinar styled “Challenges and Solutions in Food Loss and Waste-FLW” jointly organised by Bangladesh Society for Horticultural Science (BSHS) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Bangladesh on the eve of International Awareness Day on Food Loss and Waste, said a press release.

Agriculture Minister Dr Abdur Razzaque attended the meeting as the chief guest while President of BSHS Saleh Ahmed presided over the meeting.

The agriculture minister said that under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh has achieved unimaginable success in agriculture and food security.  “The government is attributing great importance to agricultural mechanization and agro-processing in order to reduce food loss and wastage,” the minister said. Along with these government initiatives, all concerned people, including producers, buyers, and consumers, should be aware of this, he added.

FAO of the United Nations declared September 29 as International Awareness Day to raise awareness about food loss and wastage worldwide.

With the motto ‘Stop wasting food and waste For the People. For the Planet,’ international awareness day on food loss and waste is being celebrated for the first time this year.

FAO Dhaka Chief Technical Adviser Naoki Minamiguchi Dr Md Kamrul Hasan addressed the meeting as a keynote speaker.

According to FAO 2019 report, one-third of the world's food production is wasted each year. About 1.3 billion tonnes of food gets wasted. If converted to calories, about 24percent of food gets wasted, he shared while presenting the keynote paper. 

The keynote paper goes on highlighting that although there is no accurate data on the amount of food loss or waste each year in Bangladesh, some studies have shown that post-harvest wastage of vegetables and fruits is 30-40percent, with an annual financial loss worth about Tk 34.42 billion per annum.

Bangladesh Representative FAO Robert D. Simpson, Director General of Agriculture Extension Department M Abdul Mueed, Executive Chairman of the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council Sheikh Mohammad Bakhtiyar, Secretary General of BSHS Afzal Hossain Bhuiyan, and Professor of Horticulture, Bangladesh Agricultural University Ashraful Islam, among others, also spoke on occasion.