5,000 MT of food wasted daily in SL: Amaraweera

Around 5,000 metric tonnes (MT) of cooked and uncooked food are wasted every day in our country, according to Minister of Environment Mahinda Amaraweera.

Addressing a programme held at the Ministry of Environment on the occasion of International Awareness Day on Food Waste and Food Pollution Reduction, he had noted: “According to the World Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), about one-third of the world’s food production is wasted. That amount is 1.3 billion tonnes a year. About 40% of the crops produced in our country are wasted, and about 5,000 MT of cooked and uncooked food is thrown away as garbage every day. This situation is a huge economic loss to the country.”

He had further stated that Sri Lanka therefore aims to reduce food waste by 50% by 2030.

“Worldwide, economic waste from food waste is estimated at $ 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 some improper storage. High food consumption in the world as well as in our country is also a cause of food waste.”

He had also highlighted the risk of food shortages due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which resulted in the collapse of the job market and facilities network, rising food prices, the depletion of dollar reserves in poor countries, and shortages of foreign reserves.

In managing food resources, he called on the people to apply the culture of “arapirimasma”, which he explained means “to manage the resources to the fullest extent possible”.