Md Maksudur Rahman, Bangladesh Country Director, USAID F2F Food Safety and Quality Program, said companies that produce food products for the local market are less interested in adopting the necessary safety measures to maintain the quality of the products.
However, those who export products accept these measures, he added
He said this while addressing a roundtable discussion on two projects of USAID at a webinar on Monday.
To strengthen the safe food supply chain, USAID has been implementing the "Farmer To Famer (F2F) Food Safety And Quality (FSQ) Activity" project in Bangladesh since 2018.
Highlighting the progress of the project and its implementation, Md Maksudur Rahman said, USAID provides volunteer technical support on hygiene and infrastructure through this program.
So far, a total of 14 organisations that have received this support have reported a 20% increase in sales. The organisations have invested $42,000 in hygiene and infrastructure in creating a better market to facilitate the manufacturing and marketing of safe food products.
Sources said this kind of support is given only to SME agro-based companies. Through this project, USAID helps the Bangladesh Safe Food Authority prepare a set of rules for hotel restaurants.
Additionally, work is underway to develop fishery resources, increase fish production, and increase the involvement of marginal farmers, youth, and women entrepreneurs, through the "Feed the Future Bangladesh Aquaculture and Nutrition Activity" program.
The program has been running in collaboration with the World Fish Organization since 2018 and will continue till 2030.
The program is working to increase fish production by up to 30%, create improved food delivery chains for four lakh farmers, and engage the private sector.
At the webinar, Nurul Karim Bhuiyan, Senior Manager, Market Systems, WorldFish, said a platform would be created through this program, where the private sector and farmers would directly benefit from each other.