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Coronavirus crisis limited food wastage

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‘Kuwaiti initiatives vital to raise food waste management awareness’

KUWAIT CITY, Sept 29: Achieving food security is a top priority and challenge for countries of the world. Preserving sufficient amount of food is a rising problem for many countries, especially with the rapid population growth and the impact of climate change on agriculture, drought and floods. Every September 29th, the world celebrates the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste, aiming to enhance responsible production, reduce food waste for individuals and limit food loss during production process. In a statement to KUNA on Wednesday, the Public Authority for Food and Nutrition (PAFN) affirmed that it is tasked by law to guarantee food safety and inspection of imported foods in the country.

The authority destroys foods once lab results show that they are not suitable for human consumption, whether it is imported food or that sold in local markets, it noted. The authority’s imported food department destroyed 983 tons of expired food in 2021, while its inspection teams destroyed 9,525 tons of food in local markets, PAFN said. The coronavirus crisis reduced the numbers of destroyed foods, as many countries had limited their exports and restaurants were closed during lockdown.

In 2020, food destroyed was 967 tons, 84 percent less compared to that of 2019, which was 6,050 tons, it added. Meanwhile, the authority affirmed the importance of setting a general food and nutrition policy in Kuwait, to bring awareness on healthy eating habits, protecting the environment and limit foodrelated diseases. Launching food sustainability programs is key to end world hunger and malnutrition, it noted. The authority added that it is cooperating with local charity societies to execute “nimati” project to aid families in need of essential food items. Moreover, retail merchants can play a role in limiting food loss through reducing and re-using food waste, while consumers must learn the ideal ways to buy and consume foods, it said.

On her part, member of the “Sunaa’ Al-khair” voluntary team Hessa Al-Mannai said that “nimati” project also works on teaching people ways of limiting food loss and the most suitable methods to re-use food waste. In the meantime, UN Secretary-General Representative and Resident Coordinator in Kuwait, Dr Tareq Al-Sheikh, stressed the importance of Kuwaiti initiatives to raise the awareness of food waste management. In a press statement Wednesday, on the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste, Dr Al-Sheikh said that various public and private sectors and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Kuwait highlight their experiences in this regard and suggested solutions regarding food waste. He also noted that these measures have a very significant impact, while Kuwait’s efforts were evident through a series of national dialogues in cooperation with the public and private sectors and youth groups, who invest in improving the supply of the food chain, leading to their participation in the UN Food Systems Summit 2021. , (KUNA)

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