Are We Still Shortage of Raw Food Materials?

Are We Still Shortage of Raw Food Materials?

The unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic has caused many businesses to try to survive and rebuild after the ­uneven state of recovery. Every type of business are feeling cost pressures from every angle. Can you imagine that many are trying to manage the same costs and overheads with less revenue?

Shortage of Raw Food Materials

What caused the shortage of food raw materials?

The global shortage of raw materials has led to supply bottlenecks across all sectors. On one hand, the rising demand as a result of the pandemic-related economic downturn and, on the other hand, the continuing reduced production capacities of raw material suppliers.

Despite Malaysia being “the world’s second-largest palm oil producer and exporter after Indonesia and our palm oil production for 26% of world production and 34%  of world exports in 2020 reported by the official website of the International Trade Administration, citizens are suffering from the ever-increasing cost of putting food on the table.

Malaysia took a wrong turn away from agriculture in the 1980s-90s with too much emphasis on industrialisation and is now paying the price with a food supply crisis”, as quoted by our economist, Noor Azlan Ghazali.

How to overcome this shortage of food issue 

Chicken Stockpiles

1. Chicken stockpiles

Stocking up on chicken is one part of measures to secure domestic supplies and control rising food prices, amid a ban on exports of the poultry. The supply and export of live chickens from the Southeast Asian country including Malaysia to Singapore and Thailand has been put on hold since June 1st until production and prices stabilize. It shows a growing impact of global food shortages.

The Malaysian government has agreed to “establish a method of implementing chicken stockpiles”, as stated by Agriculture and Food Industries Minister, Ronald Kiandee.

Prices of chicken in Malaysia, one of its cheapest sources of protein, have soared in recent months after a global feed shortage exacerbated by the Russia-Ukraine war disrupted production

In 2020, the country imported RM55.4bil (US$12.67bil) of foodstuffs. When one factor is the fact that US$1 is now almost RM4.40, Malaysia will suffer an economic compression. Chicken stockpiling is one of the methods to help overcome the shortage of chickens.

Recycle Food Waste

2.Recycle Food Waste

Have you recycled your food waste or even thought about it?  In Malaysia, it has been observed that the rate of food waste reuse and recycle is relatively low which is only 5% in comparison with paper which is 60%. This is due to no specified disposal method for food waste rather than recycling and reuse of paper and plastic.

Given the high and rising costs of imported animal feed and fertilisers, immediate steps should be taken to recycle food waste from markets, restaurants and households. It can be used either as animal feed or as organic fertilisers. I do believe it’s about time for us to act and take effort in recycling our food waste.

Below are the 6 Environment-Friendly Ways to Recycle Food Waste

  1. Compost the Kitchen and Garden Scrap.
  2. Put Your Waste to Work.
  3. Creative Use of Leftovers.
  4. Donate Waste for Animal Feed.
  5. Convert Food Scrap into Biogas.
  6. Reuse the Food Packaging Material.

Encourage Cultivation of Tubers

3. Encourage Cultivation of Tubers

With the shortage of poultry, we should find alternative options like potato, sweet potato, tapioca, yam and other tubers. These tubers are a good alternative source of carbohydrates if the prices of wheat and rice go up too much, and they have a fairly short crop cycle. Perhaps, more restaurants or fast food chain restaurants should start to introduce plant based menus to consumers to help overcome the current food shortage.

According to an online source, Aliran, 23% of the land in Malaysia, 7.8 million hectares, is being used for agriculture. Of this, only about 1.5 million hectares is used for growing food, including the 0.7 million hectares of padi fields in the country. We should really consider utilizing more lands for planting short crop cycles.

In conclusion, we hope that efforts taken to overcome or at least salvage the shortage of raw food materials will take effect soon. We want to build a good business ecosystem between the business people and the consumers.

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