The ILRI 2018 Annual Report> Capacity building

ILRI/Trong Chinh
Piglet held by farmer in Hung Yen province, Vietnam

ILRI’s support for South-South partnership to improve food safety in Asia

Mutual learning and partnership among developing countries in Asia can help address alarming food safety issues

By Chi Nguyen

The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) scientists are scaling up lessons of food safety research and capacity development originally developed in Vietnam to neighbouring countries. Thus far, they have trained more than 100 stakeholders in Bangladesh, Cambodia and Thailand on different frameworks for food safety risk assessment.

Vietnam and many other Asian countries have rich culinary traditions; food safety, however, is an increasingly important development challenge as food-borne diseases are responsible for an enormous health burden affecting more than 150 million people in the region, especially vulnerable populations including children under the age of five and marginalized groups. There is an urgent need for technical and institutional solutions to better manage food safety risks, particularly in these countries’ dynamic informal markets.

Food safety is an increasingly important development challenge.

In 2013, ILRI scientists teamed up with national partners in Vietnam to establish the National Taskforce on Food Safety Risk Assessment (Taskforce). The Taskforce carried out an array of studies on food safety, especially in the pork value chain; based on this research, guidelines and training materials on food safety risk assessment were designed. This research and training constitute an important body of knowledge to apply a risk-based approach to better manage food safety.

Key findings and recommendations from the comprehensive publication developed by the World Bank and many members of the Taskforce entitled Food safety risk management: Challenges and opportunities were taken up by the Vietnamese government to confront food safety issues in the country. Some recommendations of the report are being incorporated into a new investment project to improve food safety in major urban areas like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

Convenient food boutiques are mushrooming in Hanoi, Vietnam (Credit: ILRI/Vu Ngoc Dung)

From late 2017 to 2018, four training sessions were conducted in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Chiang mai, Thailand and Dhaka, Bangladesh using materials developed in Vietnam. Participants included researchers, government officials and other stakeholders. At the training sessions, participants were exposed to various frameworks for food safety risk analysis and risk communication strategies with a focus on a quantitative risk-assessment method.

Participants also took the opportunity to discuss the establishment of taskforces on food safety risk assessment at the country level modelled on the one established in Vietnam.

Participants also took the opportunity to discuss the establishment of taskforces on food safety risk assessment at the country level modeled on the one established in Vietnam. ILRI key partners in these countries play an important role in food safety research and intervention including the Cambodia National Animal Health and Production Research Institute and the Bangladesh Livestock Research Institute.

Hung Nguyen, ILRI regional representative for East and Southeast Asia, said that ILRI’s sponsorship of South-South learning programs helps developing countries share and transfer knowledge and expertise among themselves. ‘The goal is to facilitate partnerships so that innovative practices that have been developed, tested and proven elsewhere in the South can benefit other countries facing similar challenges’, he said.

Better lives through Livestock

The Human Face of Sustainable
Livestock Development

International Livestock Research Institute2018 Annual Report

Ethiopian girl drinking milk produced by the family cow
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Jimmy Smith (l) received a doctorate with honoris causa and gave the commencement speech at the University of Melbourne, Australia, on 6 Dec 2018, with Lindsay Falvey (r).
University of Melbourne

2018 was a year of continuing progress and solid achievement for ILRI—and for that we remain both grateful and proud. Thanks to our staff, our partners, our donors and the governments with whom we work, ILRI is helping countless farmers and other stakeholders in the livestock sector in the developing world live better lives through livestock. It is helping to raise household incomes, improve human nutrition and health, fight devastating livestock diseases, breed more productive and drought-resistant animals, redress gender imbalances, enhance biodiversity and develop livestockrelated policies that will address, mitigate and adapt to climate change.

In past reports, we’ve noted that the global demand for animal-source foods continues to grow rapidly in developing and emerging countries, a phenomenon we’ve dubbed the “livestock revolution.” In Africa, for example, the demand for livestock-derived foods is projected to increase by 80% from 2010 to 2030, mostly because of population growth. Asia, already the largest consumer of livestock-derived foods, will see a nearly 60% jump in consumption—and much of that will be due to rising incomes and greater urbanization.

The breadth of the opportunities these figures represent requires new science and new research results that are taken to scale. This report highlights just a few of the many activities ILRI staff have undertaken in the past year.

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