Baghdad, 25 July 2019 – Under the patronage of His Excellency the Minister of Agriculture, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Representation in Iraq and in collaboration with FAO Regional Office for Near East and North Africa, a two-day Multi-Stakeholders Consultation on Strengthening the Food Control System was held in Iraq from 24-25 July 2019.
The workshop focused on strengthening the food control system competencies, institutional oversight and technical capabilities of all stakeholders, particularly the Ministry of Agriculture, Health, Planning as well as Ministry of Higher Education and Ministry of Trade staff to propose the appropriate strategic and appropriate food safety activities toward progressive improvement of food control functions.
In his welcoming address, Dr. Salah El Hajj Hassan, FAO Representative in Iraq, greeted all participants from Iraqi ministries. "The main objective of this workshop is to look into the food safety systems in Iraq and to discuss the strengths, weakness, and mechanisms to collect and analyze information throughout multi-stakeholders consultation on strengthening the food control system in Iraq. The key question is how to address the relevant stakeholders’ capacities and introduce an integrated food safety system in Iraq. The common review and analysis of food control system competencies in Iraq will inform what actions and funding are required to achieve a sustainable food safety control system in Iraq," Dr. EL Hajj Hassan said.
Dr. Hussein Ali Saud, Advise to Iraqi Minister of Agriculture for Livestock Activity, emphasized that FAO is a key partner of the Ministry of Agriculture and he does appreciate stated efforts to accomplish an integrated food safety system in Iraq. He expressed the importance of food safety and proper access to safer food for the citizen. Dr. Saud called for uniting efforts to produce a unified working paper that serves the agricultural sector and the process of providing safe, nutritious and wholesome food for the citizens which is one of the main tasks of the Ministry of Agriculture Mr. Saber Mansour, Regional Food Safety Specialist, FAO-RNE, Cairo, presented the international principles and guidelines to design and operate strong national food control system. "The national food control systems play a pivotal role in protecting the health of consumers and ensuring fair practices in the food trade”. Mr. Mansour said.
This workshop was attended by 39 participants from all concerned Iraqi ministries. Following the group discussions, participants made fruitful recommendations and prioritized various needs for capacity building. The endorsements and priorities set by the participants will therefore guide future investment and improvement of the national food control system in Iraq to meet international food safety standard.
For more information, please contact:
Mr. Mowaffaq Al-Refai, FAO Iraq Communication Officer