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Water quality, irrigation and on-farm controls for achieving global food safety and nutritional security


Project Summary/Abstract
Global knowledge of pre-harvest factors in food safety, particularly regarding water quality, must be ensured that safety
is built into food production to prevent foodborne illness before they begin. Effective measures in protecting the health
of consumers also enhances the value of food with higher economic returns for both domestic and international trade
networks. Especially as global water scarcity pushes towards the use of poor-quality water sources, better understanding
of the connections between water quality and food safety is needed to improve global health and sustainable agricultural
and environmental outcomes. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations will utilize and leverage
its existing government, research, and private sector knowledge networks and associated developed tools to raise
awareness and build on the networks and learning products for introducing innovative techniques and best practices on
land and water management for improved food security.
This project has three core goals, primarily to raise awareness of key stakeholders on the relationship between water
quality and food safety from field-to-fork, across the supply chain. Expert consultation and guidelines will act as the
foundation for targeted trainings on the farm and authorities at the country, regional, and global levels. On the farm best
practices and low-cost agricultural interventions will be developed to mitigate production risks to food safety. On the
regional and global levels, trainings and workshops will focus toward sustainable land and water management strategies
and directed monitoring. The third goal will be targeted pilot projects aimed at in-depth institutional capacity building in
evidence-based technologies, such as Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) techniques and hydrological modeling, to
increase risk-assessment capacity in identifying and tracking waterborne pathogens. Ultimately, this novel approach to
food safety monitoring systems will contribute to global understanding of risk paradigms in preventing foodborne illnesses
and improve cross-collaboration between sectors. Global meetings and technical roundtables will facilitate data sharing
and common risk prevention approaches for a safer global food supply chain.

Koo-oshima, Sasha
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
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