15-16 October, Paro: A two-day training for National Codex Committee (NCC) members and the officials of National Codex Contact Point (NCCP) of Bhutan was held from 15-16 August 2019 at Tashi Namgay Resort, Paro. The training was organised by the Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority (BAFRA), Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, with the main objective to enhance participation of Bhutan to the work of Codex through training of officials of Codex (Bhutan) including, NCC members on the functioning and management of Codex work.
The training methodology comprised of presentations, plenary discussions, and group works on Codex Alimentarius Commission; Codex Procedural Manual; International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN) and International Health Regulations; stepwise Codex process for elaboration of standards, Codex work on methods of analysis and sampling, GMO, linkage between International Plant Protection Convention and Codex; and Codex web tools. Further, a pre-test questionnaire was administered to the participants before the commencement of the training to determine background knowledge on Codex activities. Post-test questionnaire was provided at the end of the two-days training to determine knowledge uptake. A comparative analysis of the result of the pre and post-training evaluation revealed significant improvement in the participants’ knowledge and understanding on the subject matters.
The participants had the opportunity to engage in dialogue about the main elements of a national food control system and identify gaps and challenges for Bhutan’s national food control system. During the welcome remarks, Dr. Chador Wangdi, Offtg. Director General of BAFRA highlighted on the importance of participation in Codex work to raise awareness on the subjects of national interest so that, international Codex standards become suitable and applicable to Bhutan. He also mentioned that, since Codex standards are the bench mark standard for international food trade, it is very important that Bhutan takes preparatory steps to actively engage in the international standard setting process.
The training is a part of activities of the Codex Trust Fund (CTF) joint project for Bhutan, India and Nepal with the goal to strengthen the function of National Codex Structures through effective engagement of all stakeholders in Codex activities and standard setting process, improved scientific and technical capacity of national experts to contribute to the scientific basis of Codex and promotion of sub-regional cooperation. It is also a part of follow-up activity to the training for Codex (Bhutan) officials on the functioning and management of Codex work at the Codex Contact Point office in India held from 27 to 31 August 2019 in New Delhi, India.
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