Muscat – In a move to minimise food wastage and its environmental impact, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources (MAFWR) partnered with the Oman Food Bank to launch the country’s first food waste-recycling project.
The project – formally launched on the World Food Day on October 16 – aims to repurpose food waste into agricultural fertiliser.
Eng Ibrahim bin Abdullah al Hosani, Chairman of the Oman Food Bank’s Board of Directors, highlighted the pressing need for such initiatives.
“Food and water wastage has reached an alarming level, especially in the Gulf region. Food waste has emerged as a critical social and environmental concern,” he said.
Hosani revealed that the annual food waste in Oman is estimated to be 560,000 tonnes, over RO60mn in monetary terms. “With the launch of this project, we aim to minimise that loss and wastage, and reuse them to support Oman’s agricultural sector,” he added.
The Oman Food Bank, also known as Daymah, is not new to tackling food waste.
“Daymah already has a system in place to collect excess food and its safe and hygienic distribution among families in need. Our initiatives promote a culture of food conservation and recycling. We also maintain a state of readiness to provide disaster relief,” said Hosani.
Since its inception in June 2021, the Food Bank has crossed many significant milestones. “We’ve managed to save over 47,000 meals, weighing 29 tonnes and worth an estimated RO42,000.
Additionally, we’ve distributed 40,000kg of fruits and vegetables valued at over RO22,000, as well as over 8,000kg of baked goods and sweets worth more than RO24,000,” Hosani informed.
Further illustrating the bank’s outreach, Hosani reported that the organisation, with 400 volunteers and 26 employees, distributed over 5,000 food baskets to 3,000 families.
“We have opened four branches in the governorates of Muscat, Dhofar, Buraimi, and North Batinah to scale up our operation of food conservation and recycling. We have also launched initiatives aimed at promoting water conservation,” he concluded.