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FAO Regional Office for Near East and North Africa

Closure of FAO Training on the Conservation of Stored Grains for some 50 Participants and Supervisors of Wheat Silos

Theoretical and practical training on conservation of stocked grains. ©FAO/Issam Azouri

3 December 2018, Tunis- As part of the project to reduce food loss and waste in Tunisia, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is implementing a training program in cooperation with the Central Cooperative for Wheat (COCEBLE), funded by the Italian Agency for International Cooperation. About fifty participants and supervisors of wheat silos took part in the theoretical and practical training on the storage of wheat from 26 to 28 November.

The National Pedagogical and Continuing Agricultural Training Institute (INPFCA) of Sidi Thabet hosted the theoretical course led by the international expert on conservation of grains, Dr. Hussein Rezk, who presented to the participants the various types of insects that can damage the grain stored in wheat silos and the ravages each type can cause. A presentation on prevention methods and effective controls was also provided.

The theoretical course was followed by two days of practical training on spraying and disinfection of wheat silos in Mateur, in the Bizerte region, and in Siliana. Participants visited various silos and reviewed "best practices" for keeping silos free of pests and insects. Several lessons covered the importance of cleaning the environment around silos to prevent the spread of rodents and insects.

The trainees were provided with the best accessories and protective gear (uniforms and masks) for steaming and disinfecting wheat silos. They also received the necessary guidance to reduce the risk of pesticide exposure and minimize overuse.

Mr. Mohamed Nedri, Director General of the Central Cooperative for Wheat (COCEBLE), welcomed the participants to the opening of the training and the co-operation with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), underlining the importance of this course, which is one of the priorities for maintaining food security and guaranteeing food safety in general. He added that this training is part of the two-year long capacity building program to reduce food losses and the waste of wheat in Tunisia. The organization of specialized courses for each stage of the agricultural production process, from the harvest through storage, were provided, where many tangible successes have been recorded. The generalization of these training courses will have the effect of allowing a qualitative improvement in the treatment of wheat, a strategic food.

In 2016, FAO initiated the implementation of food loss and waste reduction project in Tunisia and Egypt following an in-depth study on the strategic priorities of the two countries. This study aimed to analyze the causes of food waste and how to reduce them for grapes and tomatoes in Egypt. For Tunisia, the study focused on milk and cereals. The project was launched to address the alarming amount of food waste in the Middle East and North Africa, where waste is estimated at around 200 kg per person per year.

This FAO project, implemented in cooperation with the Tunisian Ministry of Agriculture, Water Resources and Fisheries, as well as many local partners, including the Central Cooperative for Wheat (COCEBLE), aims to increase food security both in terms of quantity and quality of food available, and to improve the living conditions of small farmers. The project also hopes to increase the purchasing power of consumers, reducing the negative effects of food loss and food waste on natural resources.


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