FAO, WHO inception workshop begins Monday

The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) will host a one-week inception workshop beginning Monday, January 24, 2022.

The national event titled, “Assessment of Guyana’s national food control system, using the FAO/WHO food control system assessment tool,” will conclude on Friday, January 28, 2020.

Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha, M.P, and Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony, M.P, will deliver remarks at the opening ceremony.

The WHO said national food control system plays a pivotal role in protecting the health of consumers and ensuring fair practices in food trade.

Demonstrating good performance of the system gives an opportunity to member states for new markets, to improve trading relationships and to build stakeholder confidence domestically.

“When we are able to assess performance of the system in a comprehensive way, it can identify priority areas of improvement and plan sequential and coordinated activities to reach expected outcomes,” the global organisation stated.

In 2019, FAO and WHO jointly developed a comprehensive tool to assist member states in assessing the effectiveness of national food control system. The tool comprises 25 system competencies under four dimensions.

During the workshop, the assessment process will be supported by FAO’s technical assistance. However, it fully relies on the national authorities committing to provide information in a second stage, following the workshop.

Among other things, they will need to provide information, indicators and sources of evidence for about 160 assessment criteria.

The workshop will be divided into morning and afternoon sessions. Beginning from 9am to 12 noon, the morning engagements will see a series of presentations and group exercises.

Afternoon sessions which will run from 13:00 to 15:45 hrs up to Thursday, will be dedicated to the gathering of data for the assessment. Participants will be working in virtual groups and reconvene at the end of the session to discuss their work with the assessors.

Due to the ongoing pandemic and current travelling restrictions, the five-day event will be facilitated via Zoom.