Mekong Institute (MI) opens today the third regional training program under the PROSAFE Project: Promoting Safe Food for Everyone. The two-week training course on “Assuring Food Safety through Pest and Agrichemical Management” is being held at the MI Residential Training Center this week until July 27, 2018. Funded by the New Zealand Aid Programme (NZAP), the PROSAFE Project offers a series of training programs designed to put in place an integrated mechanism to encourage significant changes in food safety behavior in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV).
The training program aims to promote increased understanding of the importance and best practices of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in promoting food safety along the horticultural supply chain. With 28 participants in attendance, the course brings together a diverse group of regional food safety stakeholders including representatives from departments and ministries in the four countries who are mandated to manage and control food safety along the supply chain in their respective countries, as well as academics and private companies working with producer groups to improve their GAP and IPM knowledge.
Addressing the group in today’s opening, MI Executive Director Dr. Watcharas Leelawath, emphasized that the success of MI’s training is contingent on the application of the knowledge gained by the participants in the course. “Our work does not end after two weeks. This is the beginning of the more real work because we want to see the impact of our activities. We will keep in touch with all of you to see how you apply the knowledge in your everyday work,” he said.
Dr. Leelawath also expressed his appreciation to the New Zealand government through the New Zealand Aid Programme (NZAP) for the technical and financial support they continue to lend to MI activities. He added that MI has been collaborating and working with NZAP since the Institute’s establishment in the 90s.
The training, in addition to GMS and Asian experts, also brings in technical expertise from a New Zealand trainer who will share about New Zealand’s food safety landscape and their efforts to promote IPM and GAP among horticultural producers.