The Ministry of Agriculture jointly with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Representative in Eritrea conducted a National Workshop to Launch Codex Trust Fund Project in Eritrea on the 2nd of June, 2023 under the theme; “Food Standards save life”. During the workshop which was attended by senior government officials, representatives of UN organizations and diplomatic corps, experts, food processors and the like, the Minister of Agriculture Mr. Arefaine Berhe pointed out that the main goal of the three-year project is to enhance the profile, management, knowledge of Codex work in Eritrea. He confirmed that the Ministry will extend full support to the implementation of the project to achieve the intended goal.
In his remarks, Mr. Arefaine stressed the importance of a harmonized national policy frameworks that can avoid the duplication of efforts, while at the same time enhancing the achievement of maximum utilization of resources in avery rational cost-effective way. In this regard, the Ministries of Agriculture; Marine Resources; Health; Trade and Industry; Land, water and Environment and Eritrean Standards Institution are expected to play their due roles; the Minister underscored.
Minister Arefaine finally emphasized the need for close work relationship with the Codex Alimentarius to enhance the country’s capacity on developing appropriate national food safety standards. Food and Agriculture Organization Representative in Eritrea, Ms. Esther Lusepani on her part mentioned that Codex Alimentarius was established by the FAO and WHO in 1963 to address consumers’ protection and fair practices in Food Trade. Eritrea became a member of Codex Alimentarius in 1996 and the workshop was held to deepen awareness among the different stakeholders and the population in general.
According to Ms. Lusepani, the FAO/WHO funded Codex Trust Fund (CTF2) project has shifted from a primary focus on supporting physical participation in Codex meetings, to helping build strong, solid and sustainable national capacity to engage in codex.
At last, Ms. Esther Lusepani said that she believes Eritrea will make best out of this project in building national Codex capacities, raising awareness on Codex, and monitoring and evaluation and observing the Codex procedures.
Mr. Tekleab Mesghena, Director General of the Regulatory Services Department, speaking about the objectives and programs of the project, highlighted that the National Codex Committee is now established from eight government bodies; and will work to realize the goals of the project. Finally, Mr. Tekleab commended the support extended from the government bodies and development partners to make the launching workshop a success. .
During the one-day workshop, papers on Knowing Codex; National Codex Activities in Eritrea; Quality Assurance for Fish and Fishery Products; Codex Trust Fund Project 2A were presented by relevant experts. After comprehensive discussions on the papers; participants passed important recommendations.
Public Relations Division
Ministry of Agriculture
02 June 2023