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Cairo: Experts at the Saudi Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture have cited a rise in food waste during the month of Ramadan and offered tips for developing frugal consumption patterns.

Annual food waste surpasses 184kg per person in the kingdom, they said, estimating the overall value of such waste at a staggering SR40 billion per year.

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Curbing food waste in Ramadan depends on daily habits in preparing and consuming meals, the experts said, blaming the waste on preparing excessive amounts of food greater than the actual needs.

As part of their prescription to reduce such waste, the experts suggested that the surplus food can be distributed to those in need through food banks and charitable societies, the Saudi news agency SPA reported.

Moreover, people are urged to only cook the amount of food they need. Efforts are imperative to boost cooperation among government agencies, non-governmental organisations, restaurants and retail stores for the optimal reuse of food.

Furthermore, the experts have exhorted families to observe Islam’s anti-extravagance precepts and rational consumption. To this end, households are advised to plan their food purchases based on the number of the family members and their needs, avoid having too many types of food in a single meal to head off waste, innovate recipes making use of food leftovers, react rationally to commercials and properly wrap surplus food for reuse.

Muslims have to abstain from eating and drinking daily from dawn to sunset during the lunar month of Ramadan, which started earlier this week.

Ramadan is marked by family gatherings and meals after a day-long fast.