FAO Regional Office for Near East and North Africa

Regional Training Workshop on Quality Management and Value Addition for SMAEs in the MENA Region

01/12/2012-04/12/2012

Regional Training Workshop on Quality Management and Value Addition for SMAEs in the MENA Region
More than 50% of the food consumed in the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) is imported, making it the largest food importing region in the world.

Increasing rates of population growth, combined with severe scarcity of water and land resources might imply that in the future this dependence on imports will increase or at least remain at current high levels.

On the other hand, lack of quality market oriented agriculture, very low value added production, improper food handling systems, and food consuming, significantly adds to the food insecurity of the region causing huge physical and economic food losses.

Orienting the food production to consumers’ needs and demands, promoting food value addition and improving food quality and safety management systems can represent a strategic step to contribute to the reduction of such losses, to the improvement of food quality and, at the same time, to a better utilization of the very scarce agricultural resources of the region.

Advocating for the importance of addressing those specific needs to improve the food sector in the MENA region, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and its regional office for the Near East, is organizing, in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries in Oman, a regional training on “Value addition and quality and safety management training for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)”.

The training, which will take place from the 1st to the 4th of December 2012 in Muscat, Oman, aims at leveraging knowledge of food production and processing among policy makers in the region, especially in SMEs: policy makers from Ministries of Agriculture and Ministries of Industries and Commerce of the region will be trained to single out appropriate value addition technologies and identify quality management practices and their importance at different stages in the value chain. Through the promotion of adequate quality and safety programs and consumer oriented operations and methods the training is expected to contribute to the improvement of the efficiency and competitiveness of the food sector in the MENA region.