The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on Friday renewed the U.S. government’s commitment to supporting Nigeria in boosting her food production for export. USAID’s Mission Director Michael Harvey said this in a statement by the U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Nigeria at the end of a four-day national workshop on food security. The statement said the workshop, which was jointly organised by the agency, Federal Ministry of Health and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, was meant to boost Nigeria’s food production capacity. The director said in the statement that the workshop was part of the U.S. government’s long term effort to support the National Food Safety Management Committee. It said the committee was put in place to promote a strong food safety regime to boost Nigeria’s export market as well as the agriculture sector. “We are pleased to have USAID and the U.S. Department of Agriculture work together with Nigerian counterparts to hold this workshop. “This training follows the inauguration of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Food Safety and the National Food Safety Management Committee by the government of Nigeria in January 2015. “The training workshop involved a series of case studies on topics such as quality management systems, risk analysis, food safety modernisation act, and monitoring and evaluation procedures,’’ it said. The statement said that since 2013, the U.S. Government had been working with stakeholders in Nigeria’s food industry in reviewing the country’s national food policy. “These efforts have laid the foundation for the recently inaugurated committees that are charged with ensuring that food safety systems in Nigeria are on par with international best practices. “Interventions supported by the U.S. Government will improve food safety, thereby helping Nigerians to avoid food-borne and food-related illnesses,’’ it said. The statement said that the workshop was attended by participants from the six geo-political zones of Nigeria.
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