Haiti - Agriculture : Towards the improvement of local products for the school canteens - HaitiLibre.com : Haiti news 7/7
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Haiti - Agriculture : Towards the improvement of local products for the school canteens
24/08/2011 11:50:27

Haiti - Agriculture : Towards the improvement of local products for the school canteens
The Government of Haiti estimates that at least 60 % of products used in the school canteen programs and of food assistance are now available locally and can be purchased directly from producers in Haiti, this is the information that AGROPRESSE holds directly of responsible of Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development (MARNDR).

According the responsibles of the MARNDR, a set of efforts has been initiated through the unit of facilitation of purchases of local products (UFAPL) in order to make better use of local products and to stimulate at the same time the domestic production. To achieve this goal, say the responsible of the MARNDR, it is imperative to ensure not only the availability and the regularity of the offer of local products but also to guarantee a quality standard for products purchased under this program.

In Haiti, several chambers of agriculture, those of Saint Raphael, of Limonade and of La Victoire, were able to sign contracts with the World Food Program (WFP) and the French Cooperation to provide food that will be used largely in the National Program of School Canteens (PNCS). Purchases mainly concern rice and maize totaling hundreds of tons of these foodstuffs.

The responsibles of MARNDR informs that recently some control analysis performed on a sample taken by WFP in a laboratory of Dakota (United States), revealed an abnormally high amount of certain microorganisms.

The proof was established that the grains themselves were not contaminated, MARNDR technicians conducted an evaluation of the technical conditions under which the processing of products is done to make the necessary improvements.

After analysis, they found that the problems reside in the condition of processing structures, specifically the mills, and the non-standard conditions of hygiene related to the processing environment.

To solve these problems and establish a basic system of quality control, the Ministry and its partners have agreed on a plan of action including among others the following points :

  • Achievement of diagnosis of the network of suppliers
  • Achievement of training sessions on hygiene management, the good practices in a food processing plant
  • Training on the most common microorganisms and who are risk of contamination
  • Training on inventory management and the traceability system for products
  • Punctual monitoring of the implementation of training
  • Conception of sampling plans - election of laboratories of control and analysis (national and international)
  • Evaluation of testing protocols during inter-laboratory tests

According the responsibles, these actions on the quality control, constitute one of the aspects among the many concerns of the Ministry of Agriculture for which measures will be implemented. For example, the success of the program of local products purchase will require the supervision of producers and the organization of the distribution of the products in question.

HL/ HaitiLibre

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