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Improving food safety in Bangladesh

Divisional Workshop on Food Safety Advocacy organized by the Bangladesh Food Safety Network


01/12/2014

On 30 June 2014,The Bangladesh Food safety Network (BFSN) is an active network of consumer oriented NGOs that is supported by the Food Safety Programme to deliver advocacy and awareness activities targeted at various sections of civil society. To this end, the first divisional workshop was organized by UBINIG, one of the constituents of the BFSN, at Tangail. 57 participants representing the Government, farmers’ organizations, consumer groups, academic institutions, food producers and sellers, lawyers, Upazila and district administration, religious leaders and students attended the event. The representatives were from various locations in Dhaka division including Manikgonj, Rajbari, Jamalpur, Dhaka, Ghazipur and Tangail. Mr Gautam Chandra Pal, Deputy Director, Local Government, District Administration, Tangail was the Chief Guest. The special guests were Mr. Abu Kaisar Khan, Upazila Nirbahi Officer, Deldua and S. M. Ferdouse, Chairman, Upazila Parishad, Delduar. John Ryder, Prof. Shah Monir Hossain, Rokeya Khanam, Margarita Corrales and Sridhar Dharmapuri represented the Programme at the event. The workshop was chaired by Mr. Mohidul Hoque Khan, Vice President, B-Safe Foundation and Member, Steering Committee, BFSN.

The workshop was initiated by a song about food safety performed by Nayakrishi farmers- Akkas Ali, Rupushi Begum and Arfan Ali. The key note presentation “An analysis of the Food Safety Act and right to safe food” was made by Ms. Farida Akhter, Executive Director, UBINIG and Dr. M. A. Sobhan, Research Consultant, UBINIG. This was followed by a lively discussion on strategies and activities required to raise awareness about the Food Safety Act. In his remarks, John Ryder, said that the Food Safety Act, 2013, once implemented could become a model for many countries across the globe. He described FAO’s systems-based to approach toward strengthening food safety in Bangladesh across the food chain from producer to consumer. In his remarks, Prof. Shah Monir Hossain spoke of the gaps and overlaps in food control system in Bangladesh and how these would be overcome by implementation of the Act. Sridhar Dharmapuri spoke about the National Food Safety Laboratory and its role in food safety in the country. Mr. S.M. Ferdouse made the innovative suggestion that Delduar could become a pilot Upazila for awareness raising activities and could be developed as a model. This suggestion will be followed up by the BFSN. Mr. Gautam Chandra Pal appreciated the efforts of the BFSN and the FAO to strengthen consumer awareness in all the divisions of the country. Mr. Abu Kaisar Khan also spoke on the occasion.