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Experts at a discussion at Rajshahi on Tuesday mentioned ensuring best agricultural handling and manufacturing practices have become an urgent need for ensuring safety of processed foods aiming to protect public health from various chronic diseases, reports BSS.
Creating awareness among the farmers, hub leaders and manufacturers is very important for the sake of getting quality agro inputs and processed food.
They came with the observation while addressing the closing session of a two-day workshop titled “Linkage between Spray Service Providers and Agro Input Suppliers and market linkage among farmers groups and supply chain actors” at Ashrai Training and Research Centre in Rajshahi.
SNV Netherlands Development Organisation with support from European Commission arranged the workshop under the ‘Improving consumer awareness and access to certified safe tomato and mango products in Bangladesh project’.
EU-SA Project Coordinator Mahbub Ullah, Operations Manager Augustin Aldrwin Sarker, Market and Evaluation Advisor Dr Rajwanul Haque, Horticultural Expert Dr Shah Kamal, Food Safety Advisor Mahe Alam and District Coordinator Saidur Rahman addressed the session as resource persons. Farmers Fahima Begum and Abul Basher, SM Kamruzzaman and Abdul Karim from Agro-Processing Companies and Hub-Leaders Ramjan Ali,
Input Supplier Forman Ali and Md Mohidul and Spray Service Providers Md Mamun and Mojibur Rahman shared their views on the occasion.
The four-year project is being implemented in 16 upazilas of Rajshahi and Natore districts involving 10,000 mango and tomato farmers. At least 50 percent of the domestically processed tomato and mango products would be certified safe at the end of the project.
In the workshop, the participants were given ideas on pathogens, traceability and record keeping, mango harvesting materials, post-harvest disease management, grading, sorting, storage, cleaning, washing, packaging, loading, transportation, unloading, quality assessment procedures and marketing. Mahbub Ullah gave an overview of strengthening market linkage among the farmers and supply chain actors to address the safety aspect and briefed on agricultural marketing and overall aspects of market linkage.

He also advised the participants to utilize the knowledge acquired from the workshop in their farming practices and disseminate these among their fellow farmers and colleagues so that this initiative can be successful.