On 12th September 2017 a covenant workshop on ‘Promoting Food Safety in the Food Processing Sector of Bangladesh’ was held at the Krishibid Institution Bangladesh–KIB, Khamarbari, Farm Gate, Dhaka. SNV Netherlands Development Organisation arranged this workshop to promote food safety.
Advocate Md. Qamrul Islam, MP, Honorable Minister, Ministry of Food, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh was present there as the Chief Guest. Mr. Mohammad Mahfuzul Hoque, Chairman, Bangladesh Food Safety Authority, Mr. Md. Golam Maruf, Director General, Department of Agricultural Extension, Mr. Manfred Fernholz, Team Leader - Food & Nutrition Security & Sustainable Development, Delegation of the European Union to Bangladesh and Mr. Andre de Jager, Managing Director Agriculture, SNV have graced the event as the Guests of Honour while Mr. Jason Belanger, Country Director, SNV chaired the event, and the project was briefed by Mr. Mahbub Ullah, Project Coordinator, SNV.
The regional programme SWITCH-Asia, funded by the European Commission (EC), aims to promote the adoption of Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP). Within the framework of this programme, SNV Netherlands Development Organisation, Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) and Centre of Excellence Agro Food Skills (CEAFS) have been implementing this project on “Improving consumer awareness and access to certified safe tomato and mango products in Bangladesh” since January 2016.
Under this project, around 2.84% of 10,000 mango and tomato farmers are women. But in reality, the number is much higher. Many women do not declare to be farmers because female farmers are not welcome in the current social structure. Focus group discussions led to the conclusion that around 10-12% of producers are women and more than 90% of post harvesting activities are being conducted by them. The team is working with processing companies to ensure the participation of female producers in capacity building trainings in order to increase their level of knowledge in food safety issues, good agricultural practices and good handling practices. The objective is to also recognise their contribution as producers and supply chain actors in the processed mango and tomato products in Bangladesh.