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Ethiopia Finalizes Five-Year Food Safety Roadmap for Implementation

A food safety roadmap, which would be implemented in the next five years, is readied, according to the Ethiopian Food and Drug Authority (EFDA).

More than 338 million USD budget is allocated for the implementation of the five-year food safety roadmap beginning this Ethiopian Fiscal Year, it was learned.

EFDA Technical Advisor on Food Safety and Nutrition, Wendafrash Aberra told ENA that a comprehensive roadmap was developed to sustainably prevent foodborne diseases in the country.

According to him, the roadmap aligns with the African Union initiative to establish similar plans for food safety across 12 African countries, including Ethiopia.

The roadmap is developed based on data collected through a joint questionnaire by the World Health Organization and the World Food and Agriculture Program as well as the direction set by the Government of Ethiopia.

“AU encouraged member states to develop individual food safety roadmaps and the initiative was communicated to the Ethiopian government via Ministry of For
eign Affairs to the ministries of Agriculture and Health. As the focal point for food safety within the Ministry of Health, the authority took the lead in developing this roadmap. Thus, AU has been instrumental in supporting its creation,” the advisor elaborated.

About a dozen local institutions, including the ministries of Agriculture, Health, and Trade and Regional Integration, research institutes, private food laboratories, and universities, have collaborated on developing the roadmap.

Wendafrash expects the roadmap’s implementation to yield several benefits, such as a decrease in foodborne diseases, a more efficient product supply chain, and reduced food waste during storage and transport.

The roadmap takes a holistic approach, encompassing elements like manpower allocation, resource management, control mechanisms, coordination efforts, knowledge and skill development, ongoing research, and continuous activities.

It also outlines six strategy objectives, including coordinated operations, policy and le
gal enforcement, resource allocation, and institutional engagement, he stated, adding that all relevant institutions are expected to actively participate in its implementation.

“While numerous challenges exist, we’ve identified six key strategic objectives to address them. These objectives prioritize strengthening our organizational systems, addressing legal gaps, and bolstering laboratory infrastructure. By creating a comprehensive roadmap, we can ensure everyone plays a vital role in achieving these goals.”

The advisor noted the significant investment in the roadmap, with 338 million USD budget allocated for implementation.

The implementation will see conduct of inspections and enforced regulations throughout the supply chain, guaranteed product quality, and safety reach consumers from producers.

It was further pointed out that the Ministry of Health is committed to fulfilling its designated responsibilities within the roadmap framework, and the authority will work diligently to fulfill the responsibili
ties given in the roadmap.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency