Pioneering in food safety from the farm to the fork

However fecund Africa proves to be famous for being bountiful in natural resources, it has become a continent for which food self-sufficiency has become an uphill battle.

Though several undercurrent factors are ascribable for this grim reality, the overarching reasons reside in sluggishness to outgrow antediluvian farming techniques and failure to aggressively pursue modern agricultural practices.

In particular, the problem is attributable to the absence of enduring peace posing a formidable challenge.

Recourse to firearms instead of an amicable way of resolving differences has forced the continent to pay heavily.

Simply focusing on education to rectify the deficiency in thought may not work. There is a need to zero on consuming nutritious foods, for the practice there was begging for a remedial solution.

On the other hand, the absence of a coordinated effort is accountable for the problem.

Policies, strategies, and procedures that allow food safety are being prepared. As an important part of food safety and ensuring the health and well-being of consumers, food hygiene is the practice of handling, preparing, and storing food to prevent foodborne illnesses. Recently, in Ethiopia, a five-year roadmap to such effect was made official.

Ethiopia is among the nations the African Union (AU) Commission nominated for countries’ food safety roadmap under the framework of Africa.

Aside from parrying food self-insufficiency, the blueprint is believed to go a long way in curbing the lack of food-safety-related side effects and pollution that result in spikes in illnesses and death rates. This move is believed to spare many Africans subject to the problem mentioned above.

Annually in Africa, about one hundred million people fall ill due to foods the safety of which is not warranted. Owing to this, among the one hundred thousand people who cease to be worldwide due to the aforementioned problem annually, above 33 per cent of them are Africans. What is saddening is 40 percent of these victims are children under five.

Pertaining to this, to address the problem sustainably apart from spearheading the translation into action of the African Trade Zone AU sees to it that African countries click with the union of African aflatoxin control.

As a member of AU, Ethiopia strives to the realization of the continent’s 2063 set goals. Ethiopia is noted for rural development and tapping water resources for common and sustainable growth.

A pioneer, in bringing into play a roadmap on national food safety, Ethiopia has set precedence and displayed commitment towards its implementation. The roadmap also portrays the statute Ethiopia cuts currently.

But for the materialization of the roadmap, a coordinated action is called for from all stakeholders. In particular, the chemistry and coordination of institutions is decisive.

It is hardly possible to ensure the safety of foods solely focusing on factories. There is a need to focus from the farm to the fork, for there are apparent problems in agricultural products that result in health-related problems. All along the asset chain that is from the seeds to packed or otherwise edible agricultural products ensuring the safety of foods is obligatory.

The preparation of the roadmap draws the attention of stakeholders to the necessity and significance of roadmaps.

Hence, utilizing the favorable situation the roadmap ushered in, we have to roll up our sleeves to ward off mortality arising from laxity in ensuring food safety.

The Ethiopian herald May 26/2024


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