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Symposium on Challenges for Food Safety Monitoring in Least Developed Countries concluded

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By Pravin Pokhrel

The Center for Analytical Sciences (CAS) at Kathmandu Institute of Applied Sciences (KIAS) recently organized a symposium on “Challenges for Food Safety Monitoring in Least Developed Countries” on 10 October 2018 in Radisson Hotel, Kathmandu, Nepal.


The symposium included two sessions. The first session was chaired by Professor Dr. Moti Lal Sharma from Central Department of Chemistry, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu. In this session, researchers gave presentations on their research findings. The second session involved a panel discussion on the same topic. Panelists included Dr. Basant Giri, Scientist, Kathmandu Institute of Applied Sciences, Kathmandu; Dr. Matina Joshi, Deputy Director General, Department of Food Technology and Quality Control, Government of Nepal, Kathmandu, Nepal; and Mr. Gyanendra Bahadur Karki, Chief of Quality Assurance Division, Kathmandu Upatyaka Khanepani Limited, Kathmandu, Nepal. The symposium gathered more than 45 scientists, experts, research scholars and students from national and international institutions and provided platform to discuss on its theme. 

Mr. Lekhanath Kandel from Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology, Kathmandu, Nepal gave invited presentation on food quality system in Nepal, its current status and role of laboratory in food quality control in Nepal. In accordance with the themes of the symposium, other presentations concerned on the aspects of food quality and food safety in the first session. The technical session of the symposium was followed by panel discussion session. This session was chaired by Dr. Bhanu Bhakta Neupane, Professor at Central Department of Chemistry, Tribhuvan University. The panelists were asked a common question “What are the major challenges in food quality monitoring in least developed countries like Nepal?” and the floor was made open to all participants for open and constructive discussion to find the solutions to overcome those challenges. Dr. Joshi and Mr. Karki highlighted the major problems such the use of pesticides in foods, inability of concerned bodies to monitor such chemicals and ignorance and unawareness among producers, suppliers and consumers. Dr. Giri, in addition, highlighted the technical aspects of the challenge in monitoring food quality such as lack of human resources and appropriate facility. He also raised that the current methods of food quality monitoring are quite unaffordable in least developed countries and remarked that there is need of alternate methods which are cheaper and easy-to-use. The discussion led to the conclusions to develop strict framework to monitor food quality, raise awareness among the producers about the impacts of unsafe food, and strengthening career opportunities to give continuity to the respective bodies.

The symposium was part of the 3rd International Conference on Mountains in the Changing World (MoChWo) and was supported by USAID, PEER Grant.