Dhaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI) and USAID’s Agricultural Value Chains Project jointly organized a consumer awareness dialogue on “fresh food safety and its protocol” on 5 August, 2017 at DCCI. DCCI Director Engr. Akber Hakim chaired the dialogue.
DCCI Director Engr. Akber Hakim said in Bangladesh about 50% of total workforce and 87% of rural households rely on agriculture. He said foodstuffs produced and processed in our country are unsafe due to applying over insecticide, fertilizer, toxic and unhygienic pesticides. He thanked the government for formulating ‘Food Safety Act 2013’ and establishing ‘Bangladesh Food Safety Authority’. For ensuring food safety he underscored the importance of creating awareness among all involved in agriculture value chain. He also urged for proper enforcement of food safety law and conduct food safety campaign. The role of agriculture is impeccable to create employment, productivity and growth, he said.
Supply Chain and Market Development Specialist of Solidaridad Network Asia Md. Mozibul Haque presented a keynote paper. He said most of the people in our country do not follow food safety manual. He said consumers’ education, awareness and mindset are important for food safety. He said Global Agriculture Practice (GAP) is necessary for ensuring food safety in Bangladesh. He said we should strengthen food safety control infrastructure and resources. He said we have a good number of food safety rules and regulations in our country, but lack of coordination and lack of effective implementation of these rules and regulations hamper proper food safety.
Joint Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture Dr. Md. Abdur Rouf, Programme Coordinator, Consumer Association of Bangladesh (CAB) Ahmad Ekramullah and President of Bangladesh Supermarket Owners Association Niaz Rahim spoke on the occasion as panel discussants. They said our traditional agriculture is now turning into commercial agriculture. Organic fertilizers are now being used in place of traditional chemical fertilizer, they said. They also stressed on creating awareness among the growers and suggested to use less pesticide in the crop field. By global agriculture practice (GAP) we need to educate our farmers, producers and growers, and concerned stakeholders about the standard food safety procedures. Niaz Rahim said 35% of agricultural products are being wasted due to lack of modern transportation system. They also urged for increasing awareness programmes in the rural area.
DCCI’s former Senior Vice President Alhaj Abdus Salam, former Directors Md. Sharfuddin, Yead Ali Fakir, Alhaj Abdul Aziz Sarker, Professor MA Rahim of Bangladesh Agriculture University, Professor Habibur Rahman, DCCI Member MS Siddiqui, Secretary General of Bangladesh Super Market Owners Association Zakir Hossain also spoke on the occasion. All the discussants urged for government’s monitoring, surveillance, accountability.
Team Leader of DCCI-DAI project and Former Vice President of DCCI Md. Shoaib Chowdhury moderated the dialogue. He said DCCI-DAI project conducts regular training and workshop for the development of our agricultural sector. Bangladesh is exporting its agro products to many countries but we have to be more careful about safe food processing to enter into the European market. He called upon the Agriculture Extension Department to expedited new technology to the remote area. DCCI Director Imran Ahmed gave vote of thanks to the dialogue.