Contributing to the efforts of the region for a sustainable food system, Mekong Institute (MI) trained 24 value chain actors from government agencies, research institutions, and food processing enterprises in “Food Loss Reduction for Sustainable Value Chains” from September 12 to 16, 2022 at Mekong Institute, Khon Kaen, Thailand.
The five-day training program enriched the knowledge of participants from Cambodia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Myanmar and Vietnam on food loss measurement and reduction strategies, as well as postharvest management and technologies that could delay senescence, reduce loss and maintain the best possible quality of the produce.
“Food losses undermine the sustainability and resilience of food systems, hence the need to focus on integrated approaches to reduce losses. And with the current disruption in the food ecosystem caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the conflict in Ukraine, this is an opportune time to focus on the food chain approach in reducing food losses and ensuring sustained availability of fresh produce year-round,” said Ms. Maria Theresa Medialdia, Director of Agricultural Development and Commercialization Department of Mekong Institute, during the opening program.
A total of six modules were delivered to the participants including a structured learning visit at the Samsung Farmers’ Cooperative and its market outlet, Tops Supermarket, to identify sources of losses at different stages of the supply chain. The field visits likewise provided an opportunity for the participants to engage and exchange ideas with food producers and institutional buyers on best practices, technologies, and suitable strategies to reduce food losses. At the end of the course, participants came up with action plans on food loss reduction for implementation in their respective countries.
The training program was organized under the MI’s project Sustainable and Smart Agricultural Supply Chain Development in Mekong Countries which is being supported by the Mekong-Korea Cooperation Fund.