Filipinos waste 14.4 million Pesos worth of rice a day.
This is based on the average of 16 grams or one-fourth cup of rice wasted by each person per day. This accounts for about 1,200 metric tons of wasted rice per day conservatively valued at 14.4 million Pesos per day, according to Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department and Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST).
Such astonishing figure makes me feel guilty.
Here’s more. About 1.494 billion kilograms of rice, valued at P32.87 billion at a retail price of P22 per kilo are wasted due to poor harvest and post-harvest practices, Malaya reported. That’s why the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) develops a guide in harvesting, threshing, cleaning, drying, storing, and milling to help farmers address problems on harvest and post-harvest losses, the report added.
If we can avoid these wastage and losses, shall we still experience rice shortage in the next few months or years?
Boys ask “extra rice” while girls have left-over on their plates. This is not true in all cases. This is not a gender issue but I can attest on this. Reality check: Please observe.
On the average, one-fourth cup of rice is wasted by each person. This accounts left-over, wasted due to improper handling (and eating?) not to mention excess rice for the meal (cooking rice more than enough for the meal). There is an adage that says, it’s better to have excesses than having not enough rice. But what will we do with the excess? Most likely, wasted cooked grains will go to garbage bin.
The 14.4 million Pesos worth of rice wasted each day can feed many Filipinos. That fact must be enough for us to re-evaluate the way we eat. Cook only what is enough for the meal, our mother always remind us.
When dine out, either in fastfood or in expensive restaurant, it is a common sight to see left-over. That left-over, when accumulated can feed thousands of hungry Filipinos.
The government through the agencies under Department of Agriculture, has find ways and implemented programs to improve post-harvest handling of rice to avoid wastage.
Rep. Abraham Mitra, chairman of the House committee on agriculture in the Malaya report said that if each Filipino eats about 118.7 kilos of rice annually, the wasted rice would have met the rice needs of 12.586 million Filipinos for a year.
If the government needs to educate and re-educate farmers on the way crops – especially rice- are handled, it must be done. Furthermore, the government must provide the needed infrastructure – improve farm to market roads and provide post-harvest facilities.
The same report quoted Mitra that about 15 percent of palay production [is] lost to lack of post-harvest facilities such as dryers and storage. Total palay production last year reached 15.327 billion kilos, or when milled, about 9.962 billion kilos of rice.