The United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) and International Egg Commission (IEC) are organising a Capacity Building Seminar for the southern African egg industry in September.
Eggs are an excellent source of accessible, high quality protein; they have an important role to play in providing a contribution to sustainable food supply for Southern Africa’s growing population.
The FAO and IEC are co-hosting a two-day seminar in Lusaka, the capital city of Zambia, on 18 and 19 September.
Government representatives, veterinarians and egg producers from Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe are attending the seminar to discuss ways to increase egg production and consumption in the region. They will be joined by FAO experts and IEC members from the USA, Canada and Australia.
Organised by the FAO and the IEC, the aim of the seminar is to support the establishment and development of national egg producers’ organizations and facilitate the transfer of information among national and regional egg producers’ organizations in the Southern African region. This is to provide assistance to the development of commercial egg producers of all sizes, including small family producers, through efficient producer organisations that will share information and best practices about the nutritional value of eggs and how to increase production and consumption in the region.
Dr Olaf Thieme, from the FAO, explained: “The aim of this seminar is to share information between all attendees, and create long lasting working relationships. Governments and producers in these nine Southern African countries will gain valuable practical advice and support about how to increase the contribution of eggs to a healthy nutrition and food security and how producer organizations can convey these messages and assist producers with advice about egg production and disease management.
“By working together in this way, we can increase knowledge: an increase in knowledge will lead to increased understanding; with this, we hope to meet our ultimate aim of better nutrition for people living in these Southern African nations.”
Dr Vincent Guyonnet from the IEC commented: “The IEC is holding its annual Marketing and Production Conference in Cape Town later in September; this means that over 400 representatives from egg industries around the world will be gathered in South Africa discussing the latest issues affecting the egg industry. The IEC felt that this provided an ideal opportunity to bring some of the expertise developed by IEC members around the world to the egg producers’ associations in these nine Southern African nations. By partnering with the FAO, we were able to bring together both the private and public sectors dealing with egg production in these nine countries. This partnership is critical for the growth of egg production and consumption in the region”.
The Capacity Building seminar in Lusaka is the first initiative of this kind between the FAO and IEC; the response to date has been extremely positive, and the two organizations hope to generate enough support to enable them to roll out a programme of similar seminars in other regions of the world.
The seminar will be structured into five interactive sessions across the two days. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn about and discuss the role eggs play in human nutrition; global and regional egg trade of shell eggs; egg production models and challenges; the latest trends in egg production; and examples of some of the work carried out by egg producer organisations in different countries.