19 to 26 May 2017, Wangdue: BAFRA officials of Wangdue Dzongkhag have successfully completed a 7 days mass awareness program on biosafety, biosecurity & food safety from 19 to 26 May 2017. The program was executed through support of Bhutan Trust Fund under the guidance and instruction from hon’ble Director General, BAFRA, MoAF.
The main objectives of the awareness program was to familiarise the general public on the national framework and policies of the biosafety, biosecurity & food safety program which will help to build mindset consciousness towards the realisation of national goals such as “protection of pristine environment, agriculture farming from exotic pest & diseases, food self-sufficiency and national food safety” program. Therefore, in order to cover the maximum area and to provide equal opportunity to the clients, the program was organised under centrally located Geogs through involvement of different clientele mainly local Government, entrepreneurs, farmers and extension officials. At the same time, 3 BAFRA officials (plant, food & livestock) were regularly involved on the ground, to dispatch relevant information and to represent as a sector specialist.
In total, there were 330 participants who actively participated and received basic information related to important plant and livestock biosecurity measures which are essential requirements for improving and safeguarding the farming system of our country. Likewise, they were also informed on food safety guidelines which have important linkages right from farm to fork through adoption of new guidelines, good agriculture practices, and on organic agriculture and certification procedures. Finally, they were introduced on the biosafety act of Bhutan 2015, which governs GMO and its products related to use as food, feed and research programs, and then on the mandates of BAFRA under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests. These are the brief general information that we have covered during our mass awareness program under Wangdue Dzongkhag, and detailed accomplishments are shown in the above graph.
The graph shows that the awareness program under Wangdue Dzongkhag was a huge success and it was an eye opener for the general public, especially on national framework and policies of the biosafety, biosecurity and food safety. The BAFRA team was able to meet a wide range of participants with different backgrounds and were able to deliver right information on right time and at right place. There was a huge discussion among the participants and resource personals, which was immensely useful and clarifications on the both sides. Overall, this program could be just a starting point for making general public to inquire into and understand on the national framework of biosafety, biosecurity and food safety programs of the country. However, such educational programs in the field must be encouraged from time to time and prioritized mainly to help proper understanding, adoption and smooth implementation of the policies and guidelines in future.
Reported by: Dorjila(RQO) Livestock, BAFRA, Wangdue Dzongkhag.
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