SPEECH BY CHIEF MINISTER OF SABAH, Y.A.B. TAN SRI DATUK SERI PANGLIMA MUSA HAJI AMAN, AT THE OPENING CEREMONY OF THE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON FOOD SCIENCE AND NUTRITION 2017 AT GRAND BALLROOM HOTEL PACIFIC SUTERA, KOTA KINABALU, ON 25TH OCTOBER 2017

 

 

Allow me to extend a word of thanks to the Faculty of Food Science and Nutrition, Universiti Malaysia Sabah for recognising the need to organise this International Conference on Food Science and Nutrition 2017. The theme chosen for the ICFSN 2017 is  Exploring Foods for the Future: Scientific Discovery and New Trends’ is indeed apt and timely.  

 

The State Government is proud with the achievements of Universiti Malaysia Sabah, as we believe in the empowerment of our people through education, all the way to higher education.  We believe that Sabah has tremendous potential, in its people, in its natural resources, including but not limited to wild edible food items; most of which are still unknown to science.  I would like to take this opportunity to invite all conference participants to work together with Universiti Malaysia Sabah on this journey of discovery. 

 

Sabah is placing strong emphasis on the development of agriculture to increase food production. The State in partnership with the Federal Government through various agencies like the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Fisheries has been involved in various programmes focusing on improving livelihoods.  In these various undertakings, we work closely with experts from Universiti Malaysia Sabah and their partners in both upstream and downstream research to come up with sustainable solutions, value enhancements of products, and diversification on the usage of products. 

 

Growing population, climate change, and a heightened risk of failing harvests will accelerate the global food crisis that already has tragic consequences in many countries. Global food security is a complex issue that requires urgent responses from the international community. Sustainable food innovations and new agricultural technologies have the power to help us feed the world of tomorrow.

 

Looking at the aggressive growth of food industries, a variety of development and innovations have been set into motion. Food development and innovation not only involve technologies to increase nutritional value, but also innovation from the aspect of food safety and traceability. This applies to the entire food system including production, post-harvest, processing, distribution and services. The emerging trend in this regard is the application of biosensors in the food industry with biosensors research booming around the world due to its wide application ranging from medical to agricultural fields.

 

Biosensors can overcome all the disadvantages of using conventional approaches by offering rapid, non-destructive and affordable methods for quality control. Thus, food innovation should be in line with advancement in technology, as well as evolution in social and environment needs in order to produce food that meets nutritional requirements and community demands.

 

The food industry has been facing technical and economic changes both in society and in manufacturing and food processing. These have in turn had a significant impacts on the entire food supply chain, up to the distribution of food to end consumers, and has forced companies to pay high attention in food products that meet the consumers' demand for a healthy lifestyle.

 

As a consequence, innovation has been widely investigated also within this traditional industry. I believe that the ICFSN 2017 theme is brilliantly chosen and very timely in the sense that the whole world is now looking into current trends and emerging opportunities for innovation available to explore the future of foods.

 

Science and technology have been proven to propel economic growth, eliminate poverty and encourage sustainable development. I strongly believe that all countries should consider strategies that enhance science-based research and development of food and encourage new and innovative food technologies. In this regard, I hope there will be more scientific discoveries and innovations that take into consideration to combine technological innovation with social and cultural innovation in order to produce food that satisfies the nutritional, personal and social needs of all communities.

 

I would like to once again, welcome all the conference participants to this city and wish you a fruitful conference.  Enjoy your stay in Kota Kinabalu, and do visit some of our places of attractions such as Kinabalu National Park, Malaysia’s first World Heritage Site, one and a half hours drive away from here. 

 

On behalf of the Right Honourable Chief Minister of Sabah, I hereby declare the International Conference on Food Science and Nutrition 2017 officially open.