Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, director-general of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation Jose Graziano da Silva (right) and Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry (MOA) Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek (left) gesture during the opening the 33rd Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific (APRC33). Pix by MOHD FADLI HAMZAH.

PUTRAJAYA: The prerequisite to sustaining food security lies in national security, as food production will not be feasible if a country is not on solid ground.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, stressing on the importance of national security to food production, said there have been too many cases of countries experiencing food shortage because national security is compromised.

“I am committed to ensuring that our national as well as regional security and stability are strengthened and maintained. Only then can our food security agenda become a reality,” he said.

Zahid was speaking before officially opening the 33rd Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific (APRC33) today.

Present were Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry (MOA) Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek and FAO director-general Dr Jose Graziano da Silva.

The five-day conference, which began on Monday, is hosted by MOA with delegates from 46 countries.

Delegates will discuss a broad range of food and agriculture-related issues focusing on corrective actions to safeguard nutrition and the well-being of this generation and beyond.

On the main agenda of the conference, Zahid called upon all member states to support the initiative by FAO to reduce food wastage and help minimise carbon footprint due to excessive food production.

He said one third of all food produced worldwide is wasted yearly.