Guest Speaker : Rudra Bahadur Shrestha
Title: Improving Food Safety in Agriculture and Food Systems: A Strategic Policy Pathway for 2030 in South Asia
Rudra Bahadur Shrestha is Senior Program Specialist (Policy Planning), SAARC Agriculture Center, Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is Visiting Professor in Thai Nguyen University, Vietnam, and Purbanchal University, Nepal; published dozens of papers in peer review journals, book chapters, and edited books. He served as a Senior Agricultural Economist and Head⎯of International Cooperation and Coordination Section, Ministry of Agriculture, Nepal; Chairman⎯Nepal Rice Working Group; Cross Sector Advisor⎯Global Food Security Strategy Country Plan of Nepal, USAID/GON; Advisor⎯Integrated Rural Development Project-KOICA/KU/GON; and affiliated as a Focal Point for UNDP, FAO, ILO, USAID, Danida, SDC, JICA, KOICA, IFPRI, IRRI, CIMMYT, DFID in Nepal. He has PhD in Agricultural Economics from the National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, Taiwan, and M.Sc. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Philippines Los Banos, Philippines. His areas of expertise includes strategic policy planning and agriculture transformation; rural revitalization; family farming and sustainable food systems; agribusiness, marketing and value chain; trade and competitiveness; and cross-cuttings of smallholder agriculture with climate resilient, poverty alleviation, food security and food safety.
Food safety is the enduring and intertwining issue in the world, particularly in the least developed and developing economies. The concern of food safety is increasing rapidly because of its sensitivity to food trade, food security, food contamination and public health risk. This paper has been prepared to analyse the scenario, challenges and opportunities of food safety, and recommend policy measures to improve the food safety in South Asia using secondary data source and literature review. The assurance of comprehensive food safety is associated with the complete food chain⎯ starts from the use of inputs to the plate; thus, appropriate and hygiene handling of the agriculture and the food production process is crucial to ensure safe, healthy, and hygiene intake of foods by the consumers. Proper dissemination, adoption and utilization of available research-based technologies, knowledge and information tools could enhance food safety from the primary production sources to the consumers’ tables. Furthermore, for the South Asian countries, there is a need of harmonization and modernization of policies, laws and food standards according to the global food safety standards, such as Codex, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and European Union (EU) standard to establish a robust food safety management systems in South Asia.