Department of Agriculture Extension deputy director (Rajshahi region) Joinul Abedeen speaks at a seminar on food safety at Shahara Party Centre in Rajshahi on Wednesday. Photo: BSS

Country Desk
Agriculturists and development activists at a discussion in nature on Wednesday viewed that concerted efforts of all public and private
entities including the farmers and manufacturers can be the vital
means of ensuring safe food for sound public health.
To this end, they mentioned that ensuring good agricultural, handling and manufacturing practices has become the crucial means.
So, all the government and non-government organizations concerned should come forward and work together, reports BSS.
The observations came at a seminar titled ‘Food Safety Focusing Safe Tomato and Mango Products’ at Shahara Party Centre in the town.
SNV Netherlands Development Organisation with support from European Commission arranged the seminar under the ‘Improving consumer awareness and access to certified safe tomato and mango products in Bangladesh- EU Switch Asia project’.
Chaired by Regional Deputy Director of Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) Joinul Abedeen, DAE Deputy Directors Rafiqul Islam and Meftahul Bari addressed the seminar as special guests.
In their respective keynote presentations, Principal Scientific Officer of
Fruit Research Station Dr Alim Uddin and DAE District Training Officer Belal Uddin gave an overview of modern technologies relating to the production of safe tomato and mango. They also highlighted the importance of safe food.
EU- Switch Asia Project Coordinator Mahbub Ullah gave an overview of the project and its activities relating to food safety issues.
He also advised the participants to utilize the knowledge acquired from the seminar in their respective practices and disseminate these among their surrounding people so that the project initiative can be successful.
SNV intends to ensure food safety through good agricultural practices (GAP) at farmers level, good handling practices (GHP) at supply chain levels and good manufacturing practices (GMP) at agro-processing company levels. Mahbub Ullah, however, says ensuring food safety is very difficult for an organization like SNV it requires collaborative effort from government and non-government organizations concerned.
The DAE officials appreciated the initiatives of SNV for ensuring the food safety in Bangladesh. They also gave emphasis on good agricultural practices at farmers level as it is the foundation of food safety.
Monitoring and Evaluation Advisor Dr Rajwanul Haque, Horticultural Expert Dr Shah Kamal, Food Safety Advisor Mahe Alam and District Coordinator Saidur Rahman from SNV disseminated their expertise on the issue.
More than 130 people comprising officials from DAE and fruit research centre, NGOs, farmers and Agro-Processing Companies like PRAN, Sajeeb and Kishwan joined the seminar and took part in its group discussion.