Food Safety: A Policy Issue in Agriculture Today

Food safety constitutes proper preparation, storage, and preservation of all foods. According to the United Nations Asian and Pacific Center for Agricultural Engineering and Machinery (APCAEM), an upsurge in international trade on agricultural products has made food safety a major concern. Furthermore, food safety is becoming a serious policy matter due to rigorous agricultural activities, pollution, and man-made and natural disasters. Markets are increasingly calling for an improvement in the quality and safety standards of food crops. Producers must meet these requirements in order to gain the trust of consumers.

However, in most countries, measures employed to achieve this are below par. An especially disturbing issue is that certification and standardization systems do not meet the criteria set by most markets. Therefore, governments and other policymakers should provide a platform to kick-start the implementation of internationally -accepted food safety standards. Examples of strong policy measures include adherence to international agreements, certification, ensuring that food moves directly from the farm to the consumer’s table, giving farmers the incentives to produce safely, avoiding contamination of harvested produce, and sponsoring awareness campaigns. Adherence to these policies ensures that a country remains competitive in the global food industry.

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