The Training of Trainers (ToT) on Good Handling Practices (GHP) was held at PRAN factory, Natore on 22nd and 23rd May, 2017 to train supply chain actors of the project. The training focused on GHP for field staff, and quality controllers, logistics staff and suppliers of the agro processing companies from PRAN, Kishwan, Ahmed and local NGOs, Sachetan and PCD.
The trainees got an opportunity to learn about the associated diseases, personal hygiene issues, cross contamination, grading during harvesting, sorting, cleaning, washing, packaging, loading and unloading of transportation, storage and marketing etc. They will then in turn guide the other supply chain actors and 10,000 mango and tomato farmers in safe production and handling of processed products of mango and tomato, who are the beneficiaries of the project, “Improving consumer awareness and access to certified safe tomato and mango products in Bangladesh” funded by the European Commission and implementing by SNV.
The chief guest of the event was Md. Joynal Abedin, Deputy Director, Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), Rajshahi. Senior Scientific Officer (SSO) Dr. Md. Sorof Uddin of Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI), Rafiqul Islam, Deputy Director, DAE, Natore, ADD (Horticulture), DAE, Rajshahi, Manjurul Haque and Zaharul Islam, Horticulture Centre, Chapainawabganj conducted sessions on GHP. Experts from the field of agriculture were actively engaged to take different sessions and expressed their desire to extend support to the project in implementation of its ongoing activities, along with Mahbub Ullah, Project Coordinator who was the moderator of the session, and other staff members from SNV.
At the inauguration ceremony, Maruf Kabir, Head of Quality Control, PRAN said that the topic of ToT is very relevant and timely as food safety is a global issue which needs to be addressed properly in Bangladesh. He advised the participants to follow the lessons learnt from this excercise in the field and also to follow techniques such as paper bagging, hot water treatment etc., to be competitive in the market and secure profits. He said, "We need to be careful when handling the produce, which is an important part of demonstrating GHP. Farming can be done safely and easily, by practicing some basic means such as controlling excessive doses of chemicals, paper bagging and using fruit baskets for collection".
Manjurul Haque, ADD (Horticulture), DAE, Rajshahi, highlighted on the importance of postharvest disease management and handling of tomato to ensure safety, self-life extension of the produce, reduction of post-harvest losses, cleaning, sorting and grading, pack house activities and distribution process. He also explained about field sanitation following good agricultural practices and management process of dieses, such as soft rot, sour rot, rhizopus stolonifer, black mold rots, etc.
PRAN COO Md. Mahatab Uddin said that food safety is an important issue for Bangladesh which should be treated with highest importance in the processed products of mango and tomato. He requested the participants to implement lessons learned from the training in the business of processed products of tomato and mango which will help them immensely.
Rafiqul Islam, Deputy Director, DAE, Natore, emphasized on coordination and dissemination of the GHP technology at the field level and closed the session requesting the participants to implement the GHP to obtain better output in the processed products of tomato and mango.