ZIMBABWE – Zimbabwe has concluded an extensive eight-month food control system assessment, orchestrated by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

The initiative, culminating in a strategic workshop in Harare, saw the presentation of a critical action plan aimed at enhancing the nation’s food safety and plant health governance, eagerly endorsed by high-level officials.

This assessment forms part of the larger “Strengthening of Capacities and Governance in Food and Phytosanitary Control” project, a significant endeavor backed by U.S$6.95 million in funding from the European Union (EU).

Launched in December 2021, the project recently received an extension, broadening its scope to offer pivotal technical support to authorities and key institutions across 12 African Union (AU) member states.

The project, resonating with the AU’s Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Policy Framework, aims to forge stronger trade ties among AU nations by fortifying capabilities in food safety and plant health.

Zimbabwe, alongside eight other regional counterparts, has reached a milestone by wrapping up this critical food control system assessment. The process, which kicked off with a comprehensive workshop in July 2023, engaged a dedicated team of FAO food safety experts and 32 local focal points.

Together, they embarked on an exhaustive data collection and analysis journey, leveraging the FAO/WHO Food Control System Assessment Tool for a holistic examination of the country’s food value chain.

The workshop in Kadoma marked a pivotal moment, bringing together an array of stakeholders, from ministry officials to food system experts, to deliberate on the assessment’s findings.

Under the guidance of Dr. Claid Mujaju, Director of Research Services in the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Climate, and Rural Development, the participants crafted a strategic action plan designed to reinforce Zimbabwe’s food control mechanisms, aligning with the nation’s and the Ministry’s strategic priorities leading up to 2030.

The project has so far been introduced in KenyaComorosSeychelles, the Kingdom of EswatiniRwanda, as well as in Mauritius.

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