The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) recently launched a project to strengthen food safety in 12 countries across Eastern and Southern Africa, beginning with a workshop in Comoros.

Titled “Strengthening of Capacities and Governance in Food and Phytosanitary Control,” the two-year project is funded by the EU and led by experts from FAO’s Food Systems and Food Safety Division. The FAO team will work with participating governments and provide technical support to build national capacities, strengthen regulatory frameworks, and improve strategic planning around food safety and plant health.

Additionally, the FAO team will implement the unique FAO and World Health Organization (WHO) National Food Control System Assessment Tool to evaluate the capacities of a country’s national food control system. The tool’s success depends on collaboration from multiple levels of government and stakeholders across the food chain, and FAO reported a high level of participation by the government of Comoros at the inaugural event of the project. The island nation expressed its commitment to providing the data required for FAO to complete its assessment.

The four-day kickoff workshop in Moroni, Comoros included training on national focal points for the country and next steps; for example, collecting information and data, a key part of the process that will continue over a period of several weeks.

The inaugural event for the second nation participating in the project began on November 28, 2022 in the Seychelles.