US and MAKRO Egypt Partner to Increase Incomes for 10,000 Farmers by Improving Food Safety and Quality
March 12, 2012
Cairo, Egypt – March 12, 2012: The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) with the Midwest Universities Consortium for International Activities (MUCIA) and MAKRO Egypt are partnering as part of a broader USAID program to increase the income of 10,000 small scale farmers. The partnership will focus on strengthening farmer capacity to produce high-value products for export to international markets and improving the distribution of better quality food to the domestic market. To demonstrate their strong commitment to provide Egyptian and international markets with safe food products that are “Made in Egypt,” USAID-MUCIA and MAKRO Egypt announced their new food safety training program designed to train managers and food specialists to meet the highest international food safety and quality standards. Managers and food specialists representing 200 Egyptian processed food producers and suppliers will receive classroom and on-the-job training, complemented by technical assistance over the next 18 months. This training will strengthen the value-chains of export crops and other products of small scale farmers and processors.
“Creating a cadre of trainers specializing and excelling in food safety and quality is a key interest of farmers, the agribusiness sector and every Egyptian” said Mr. Beed, USAID Deputy Mission Director. “This public-private cooperative effort is an important collective investment to strengthen Egypt’s export capacity by meeting the highest global standards while providing better quality and safer food for Egyptians.”
He added “More than 40% of agriculture products are wasted due to inadequate processing and handling techniques. Improved food safety standards will help to reduce the amount of waste and increase the food supply while making food more affordable for the average Egyptian.”
Through this program more than 150 food specialists and staff from 32 food processing factories will be trained in design and implementation of internationally certified food safety systems, including ISO 22000.