Безопасность и качество пищевых продуктов

Strengthening the national food control system in Malawi


The government of Malawi has signed a new Technical Cooperation Project (TCP) with FAO to strengthen the national food control system in Malawi that will run until the end of 2022. The TCP builds on the results of a participatory assessment of the national food control system (NFCS) that was implemented in Malawi in 2017-2018, using the FAO/WHO food control system assessment tool.

Malawi is a country whose economy is largely agro-based with agriculture contributing to about 42 percent of the national gross domestic product (GDP) and 81 percent of export earnings (source: MoAIWD, 2018). The national agricultural and food chain system is largely dominated by smallholder producers that require guidance and support to process and supply food that is safe to consumers and for trade.

In this context, the new TCP will contribute to strengthening the national food control system of Malawi to improve food safety and ensure that only safe food is placed on the market or exported, thus protecting the health of consumers, both domestically and internationally, and promoting trade and access to new markets internationally.

In doing so, the TCP aims first at laying the foundation for an effective and sustainable food control system. This is pursued through the development of a clear and inclusive policy and regulatory framework, within which the control system can be implemented. At the same time, the project proposes the establishment of a risk-based national food control system and the definition and implementation of a food safety risk communication approach. To support such work, activities will include technical assistance and targeted trainings, creation of conditions for inclusiveness by bringing all stakeholders together, and mobilization of support for continuous improvement.

The development of the TCP was informed and triggered by the results of the participatory assessment of the national food control system that was implemented in Malawi in 2017-2018, using the recently developed FAO/WHO food control system assessment tool. The Tool builds on Codex guidelines, and aims to support countries to review their national food safety systems and the performance of competent authorities in charge of the system.

Thanks to this independent assessment, Malawi benefitted from an in-depth and updated analysis of its national food control system (analysis of institutions, capacities and needs), whichhas created a baseline for the development of a food policy. Additionally, the assessment process supported an in-depth discussion of priorities for short-, medium- and long-term improvement, concluding with a set of recommendations, which were taken on board by the national government under the format of a strategic plan and which informed and shaped the current TCP.

While the TCP will start implementing the strategic plan by tackling the primary issues of the food control system in Malawi, the ultimate objective of the TCP is to catalyze national resources and political commitment towards instituting long-term efforts for food safety in Malawi. The strategic plan will therefore serve to keep focus on the priorities identified by the assessment and to monitor progress over time.

If you are interested in more detailed information on the assessment process, please contact [email protected] with “FAO/WHO food control system assessment tool” in the subject.

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The FAO/WHO food control system assessment tool is available in Arabic, English, French, Russian and Spanish

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