Malaysia is leading the charge in a capacity building project on warehousing and storage management to create mechanisms in reducing post-harvest losses, food waste and sustaining food security within the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), said Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI).
MARDI's Post-Harvest Handling Program Industrial Crops Research Centre's deputy director Dr. Zaulia Othman said Malaysia was selected to lead a project titled 'Capacity Building on Warehousing and Storage Management' during its participation at the Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation of the OIC (COMCEC) meeting in 2018.
"Besides empowering farmers and associations through capacity development support and training to increase their access to warehousing and storage capacity, this project will also discover best practices and recommendations for seeds and fresh produce management, she told Bernama recently.
Zaulia said the project would also lead to the development of policy or mechanism in OIC respective countries as part of the effort to minimize losses of seeds and fresh produce. She said this when met at a recently concluded workshop on 'Capacity Building on Warehousing and Storage Management' here. It was jointly organized by the COMCEC, Malaysia's Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry (MOA), Turkey's Agriculture and Forestry Ministry and MARDI.
COMCEC is the main multilateral economic and commercial cooperation platform of the Islamic world. As one of four standing committees of the OIC, COMCEC was established in 1981 at the Third Islamic Summit Conference held in Makkah/Taif.
"The expected outcome from this project is to boost economic growth, increase agricultural mechanization to optimize resources, as well as create knowledge and technology platform to reduce the gap between countries, Zaulia said, pointing out that to get the project rolling, it would involve, inter alia, technical visits and workshops with focus on active farmers, associations and experts.
"This to ensure that they are ready to share their knowledge and expertise to become a trainer, and disseminate the ideas in their respective countries," she added.
To pursue the project, a study visit to Turkey was held in April this year to collect information on warehousing and storage management, she said.
As a way forward, apart from infrastructures related to warehousing and storage facilities needed to be developed, the related technologies and products developed should also be diversified, promoted and disseminated among the OIC member countries.
Meanwhile, Head of Strategy Development Department of Turkish Grain Board Aysin Senses said Turkey, as the partner of the project, could potentially help to address food loss and waste, as well as food security issue within the OIC members especially in conflict-stricken countries such as Sudan and Yemen.
Zaulia said Turkey would be delighted to share its experiences in prevention of food loss and waste activities carried out by Turkey's Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, as well as 'Prevention of Bread Waste' campaign carried out by Turkish Grain Board at the international level.
"Turkey is conducting serious work in national and international platforms to prevent food losses and waste, she said, adding Turkey hosted the G20 Agriculture Ministers Meeting in 2015, during which the establishment of the 'Food Loss and Waste' technical platform was decided.
Source: International Islamic News Agency