So what's the problem?
Pakistan has a thriving agricultural sector but it faces existing and emerging challenges in relation to food safety, agricultural health standards, and trade. Poor sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures relating to Pakistan’s exports (bacterial contaminants, pesticides, inspection and labelling as well as animal and plant health with respect to imported pests and diseases) mean that the revenue from them is not what it could be and the country is suffering from lack of development accordingly. Between 2004 and 2005, Pakistan was subject to 26 European Union (EU) food alerts. It therefore needs to develop a comprehensive SPS strategy.
What is this project doing?
In order to increase the technical capacity of animal and plant health officials and scientists in Pakistan, CABI, Texas A & M University (TAMU) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) are developing and running training courses in SPS measures to meet both Pakistan’s and the international needs.
CABI will test the newly developed training modules with appropriate audiences and solicit appropriate feedback.
To optimize the reach of the training modules - which will be developed as distance learning DVDs - they will be translated into Urdu, the national language of Pakistan. These will be complemented by onsite workshops at CABI’s Rawalpindi office and at regional locations within Pakistan. The modules will be comprised of audio, video and written content catering to the different learning styles of the target audience. The production of the courses on DVDs will ensure places with poor internet accessibility can use these options. In order to conduct onsite workshops the facilities of CABI’s centre in Rawalpindi, Pakistan are being upgraded.
Results so far
Four requirement workshops – two each with animal and plant health officials – to discuss issues and needs have been held in different locations in Pakistan. The results have been used to draw up a list of topics for the development of training modules, which has been shared with USDA and TAMU. Over the next two years, Pakistani plant and animal health officials, exporters and port inspectors will receive this comprehensive, contextualized training.
The USDA and TAMU team has visited Pakistan to meet plant and animal health officials in order to get a better understanding of the target audience and the regulatory environment and systems currently in place in Pakistan.
The project partners and CABI are developing the first e-learning modules which will be rolled out in the first quarter of 2013.
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