Policy and measures in provision of food security in the Kyrgyz Republic

On April 17, 2018 in Bishkek city in “Park Hotel” was held the Roundtable on topic: “Policy and measures in provision of food security”.

At the end of 2017, the planned activities to support the Secretariat of the Food Security Council on the upcoming activities within the subcomponent 3.4 were announced at the workshop “On achieved results of Agricultural Productivity and Nutrition Improvement Project” Strengthening coordination at the national level on food security and provision of quality nutrition”.

This activity was held as part of the development of the Food Security and Nutrition Program for 2018-2022.

At the Roundtable with a welcome speech by the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Food Processing and Land Improvement – Choduyev Erkinbek Uraiymovich. In his speech, he focused the importance of the activity and especially the issues related to food security.

On behalf of the Government Office of the Kyrgyz Republic expert of Agriculture and Ecology of Government Office of the Kyrgyz Republic – Akmatbekov Ulan Akmatbekovich has delivered a speech. He said that the food security program to be developed is a strategic document and reviewing food security issues playing an important role in the health of citizens.

The Roundtable is discussed issues of food security and nutrition safety measures. These issues are relevant at the present time, as the lack of traceability in the food chain, i.e. from production to consumption, makes it difficult to ensure food security and makes a new look at the solution of this issue.

Representatives of government agencies, international organizations, international experts and specialists in standardization, certification and food security, as well as the presented NGO and business structures took an active part in the Roundtable.

Issues on food security were widely covered in the presentations of the speakers, which were shown not only the state of food security issues at the present time, but also the problems and proposals for their solution.

In the presentation of nutrition expert of the Expert Group under the Food Security Council B. K. Djurupova has proposed achievements and support of the required level of food security for humans and the future generation.

The presentation of the GIZ International expert was very interesting at the Center for Standardization and Metrology under the Ministry of Economy of the Kyrgyz Republic Ditmar Spekmeier on topic: “Legislative and non-legislative requirements in the EU for the import of agricultural and natural products.” Mandatory legislative requirements of the EU “European citizens shall have access to safe and healthy food of the highest standards” have been disclosed. He pointed out that security shall be guaranteed throughout the supply chain. Also, Mr. Spekmeier told about the main provisions and special requirements for such foods as walnuts, dried and fresh fruits and vegetables, conserved fruits and vegetables. Compliance of local productions with the EU requirements makes it possible to export products to the EU markets, especially since the interest of consumers of the EU market to the products of Kyrgyz producers is growing. And there are already good examples of cooperation between local producers and partners from Germany.

The great interest was on presentation of the Chairman of the Committee of CCI of the Kyrgyz Republic on industrial policy, export infrastructure and PPP, Doctor of Economics Rakhimov Kubat Kalyevich on topic: “Food security and conflict of interests of economic entities”. The speaker revealed the issues of priority of large-scale agro-industrial complex over small separate “organic” farms. He also noted that “the quality control of agricultural products in the traditional agro-industrial complex is HIGHER and more RELIABLE than the control of small fragmented “organic” farms”.

Representatives of the following state structures have shared their achievements in food supply: Center for Standardization and Metrology under the Ministry of Economy of the Kyrgyz Republic and The State Inspectorate for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Security under the GoKR. They spoke about the achievements of the agencies in the implementation of the technical regulations of the EAEU and the EU.

Food security expert Chinara Serkebayeva in her presentation on topic “Problems of the private sector in ensuring food security. Traceability issues in the food chain” has showed a number of problems on these issues. These are problems with infrastructure, staff problems and problems related to the condition of industrial premises and compliance with sanitary standards. She stressed that ensuring food security will bring tangible results in the interaction of business and government agencies.

During the Roundtable the group work was organized, which resulted in the development of main purpose of the section “Policy and measures for food security”, the construction of a system of food security, aimed at eliminating unacceptable risk to human health at all stages of the food chain. And the main directions:

  1. improved legislative and regulatory requirements in food products in accordance with international standards (as an example, the development of the law “On organic products”, the adoption of the law “On food security”, etc.);
  2. interaction and coordination of state agencies and other stakeholders involved in the regulation and implementation of food security (improved institutional component and etc.);
  3. optimization of quality infrastructure (Testing Laboratory, Certification Agency and etc.);
  4. implementation of food security management system standards (ISO 22000 FSSC 22000, IFC, BRC etc.);
  5. development and implementation mechanism of public-private partnership;
  6. awareness of all participants of the food chain (implementation of IT-technologies, organization of educational work along with visits to regions, establishment of single databases, development of the guidelines or possibility of traceability, etc.);
  7. education and training of specialized staff (Universities, pre-and post-graduate training, establishment of training centers, etc.)

Based on results of the Roundtable, it became clear that the problem of food security is relevant and platforms such as today, contribute not only to identify problems in this area, but also to find solutions to these problems, and also their reflection in the state programs. In this case, the views and interests of all participants of the food market, i.e. producers and consumers, should be taken into account in the development of the Food Security Program for 2018-2022. The implementation of nutrition quality and safety standards will contribute to the country food security and public health.

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