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On 25-26 April 2018, SNV organised a Training of Trainers (ToT) on Good Handling Practices (GHP) at the PRAN Factory in Natore. The ToT training organised under the project “Improving consumer awareness and access to certified safe tomato and mango products in Bangladesh”, funded by the European Commission and implemented by SNV and its partners (Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) and Centre of Excellence Agro Food Skills Foundation (CEAFS)), trained the supply chain actors involved in the project. The training focused on GHP and targeted field staff, quality controllers, logistics staff, hub leaders and suppliers of the agro-processing companies.

Among the topics covered in the training session, the trainers addressed the importance of GHP in Bangladesh, pest and diseases identification and management, usage of ripening materials and related residual effect and cross-contamination, prevention and sanitation, symptoms of foodborne diseases and pathogens. Also, traceability and record keeping, mango harvesting materials and post-harvest disease management, coordination and dissemination of GHP technology at the field level, quality assessment procedures and marketing. The training helped trainers in guiding other supply chain actors and 10,000 mango and tomato farmers on safe production and handling of processed products.

The event was inaugurated by the Additional and Deputy Directors of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), S.M. Mostafizur Rahman, Rajshahi. Md. Joynul Abedin and Md. Rafiqul Islam. Among Nastore's session speakers, S.M. Mostafizur Rahman emphasised the importance of learning more about GHP, GMP and contamination in order to address issues at different stages, and to properly utilise these technologies to ensure the safety of processed tomato and mango products. Including the fact that it is everyone’s responsibility to work towards food safety.

S.M. Kamruzzaman, PRAN Senior Manager, said the ToT on GHP is particularly relevant at the moment as food safety is an important issue that needs to be addressed properly. He thanked SNV for arranging this initiative and other future trainings that could benefit all the participants. As a sign of healthy collaboration, he also welcomed and applauded the participants from the other agro-processing companies, (Kishwan and Sajeeb) participating into the event.

The Senior Scientific Officer, Dr. Md. Sorof Uddin and the Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Hamim Reza, from the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI) attended as resource speakers. Also, agricultural experts actively participated in few training sessions and expressed their desire to support the ongoing project's implementation activities. All the training sessions were moderated by the Project Coordinator, Mahbub Ullah, together with the Food Safety Advisor, Mahe Alam and the M&E Advisor, Rajwanul Haque. SNV field team and District Coordinator B M Saidur Rahman were also present at the event.

AD S.M. Mostafizur Rahman of DAE inaugurating the event