Sabah community shows the way in food security

LETTERS: Food security is a concern for Malaysians. Fluctuation in food prices has raised alarms regarding the nation's food availability.

My visit to a morning market in Tuaran, 40km from Kota Kinabalu, reshaped my comprehension of food security.

There I saw all sorts of locally grown food, including sayur kampung, sold in sizable amounts.

From traditional vegetable like terung pipit (mini brinjal) to home-made fermented food called busou, the market demonstrated a high level of self-reliance and use of local knowledge for self-sufficiency.

Urban communities can try to create container gardens to produce vegetables and fruits, promoting self-sufficiency in food production and helping to mitigate the high cost of living.

Also, we need to acknowledge that food security is not just about having access to food but also minimising food wastage.

Reducing food waste is essential for promoting self-reliance. Learning how to can, dry, and store food ensures that nothing goes to waste.

In Malaysia, we waste 17,000 tonnes of food daily, and out of this enormous data, 24 per cent, or 4,005 tonnes, are still edible.

This amount of food wastage can feed 2.9 million people with three meals per day.

My Sabah experience showed that food security is not just about what is on our plates today, but also about empowering communities to provide for themselves.


Petaling Jaya, Selangor

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect those of the New Straits Times

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