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Five Problems of Developing Countries

1. food production systems

Systems of production, processing, and marketing of food products are involved. Also, in many developing countries they are very fragmented and dependent on a large number of small producers. Although this organization may have socio-economic benefits, the fact that significant quantities of food through a multitude of intermediaries of people who handle the food, increases the risk of exposure of the population of Kenya, Africa to a lousy hygiene condition, contamination, and fraud. The inadequate conditions of post-harvest operations, transformation, and storage of foods are responsible for problems encountered, as well as the inadequacy of the facilities and infrastructure, for example, the absence or scarcity clean water, of electricity, storage facilities, including refrigeration, and facilities and transportation networks, etc. Also, most of the staff that produce and handle food have not knowledge and skills appropriate to apply modern agricultural practices, food hygiene rules, as well as good practices food handling.

This doesn’t mean that all such foods are unhealthy: the number of traditional production practices and handling food involves safety margins that are intrinsic, based on years of experience. The problems come from the inability to cope with the consequences of the introduction of new intensive farming practices, further urbanization, pressures on natural resources and new risks to matter of food safety.

2. the food processing industry

The food processing industry is modern and sophisticated facilities to small craft businesses producing traditional food for the local population. The size of these units of transformation is very variable – as next to a small number of large factories, the majority is made up of small family units with limited means to use effective technical inputs; at the most basic level of this scale, the premises used are ill-equipped to ensure scientifically and regularly the safety and quality of food products. These small units often enjoy assistance however from public authorities, because they create jobs and provide income to their operators. Developing countries are thus facing the delicate task of real development of these small units to enable them to improve the technology used.

Processors of food products from developing countries are also facing problems of reliability and punctuality of deliveries of raw materials, and variability of the overall quality. Small farms generally provide the primary production; also, the regions infrastructure deficiencies translates a variability in the variety of the raw materials supplied. This situation requires increased vigilance on the part of the units of food processing at the level of the food control to be implemented at the level of each link in the circuit.

3. food sold on the public highway

According to studies on the developing countries, of 20 to 25 percent of spending on food households are incurred outside the home, and specific categories of the population are entirely dependent on food sold on the street. It’s one of the consequences of rapid urbanization, millions of people with no access to a kitchen or with no food preparation facility. Unmarried and without family workers are millions and a large fluctuating problems of high population in kenya in and out of the city to go to work; These people are so dependent on most of the food sold on the street for their daily food.

In many developing countries, the food on the street vendors are an important part of the food supply circuit. Cheap and easy to obtain, food sold on the street meets a vital need of the urban population. These foods and those ready to consume drinks are prepared and sold by vendors or peddlers essentially in the streets or other suitable places, for example near workplaces, schools, hospitals, and railway stations and bus stations.

Safety is a major concern regarding food sold on the street. Indeed, these foods are generally prepared and sold in anti-hygienics conditions, with limited opportunities for clean water, access to sanitation and garbage treatment facilities. Also, foods sold on the public highway are a high risk of food poisoning by microbial contamination, and also of the inadequate use of food additives and contamination of the atmosphere.

4. food control infrastructure and resources

In many developing countries, food control infrastructure is generally insufficient, due to the limited available resources and the often observed management deficiencies. Food control laboratories are often ill-equipped and lack properly trained analysts. These shortcomings are compounded when food control involves the support of several agencies. The absence of overall strategic direction results in a misuse of limited resources. Finally, food control systems may suffer as a result of failure or the inadequacy of the measures adopted.

Modern food control systems are necessarily based on scientific and transparent decision-making processes and therefore require the availability of duly qualified and trained in disciplines such as the Science and food technology, chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, veterinary science, medicine, epidemiology, agronomy, quality assurance, food audit. The food control authorities need to appreciate the role of science in a risk-based approach better and leverage the scientific means available within the international community.

5. technical assistance: the role of international agencies

It is widely believed that the strengthening of the developing countries food control systems requires technical assistance. FAO and who are the two main specialized agencies of the system of the United Nations engaged with developing countries in technical cooperation for quality and food safety programs.

The assistance of FAO in the field of control and food standards is a major activity; It is carried out at the global, regional and national levels. Manuals published concerning the control of the quality of foods cover a range of different aspects of food control systems and are used all over the world. Meetings, seminars, and workshops are organized in all regions of Africa, Asia and Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, Eastern European, Middle East and North Africa. Technical assistance is provided in many areas, including the following:

  • Creation or strengthening of national systems and food control infrastructure;
  • Assisting in the development of food legislation and related regulations;
  • Holding of workshops on the development of national food control strategies;
  • Help with the constitution or the capacity-building of analysis of food;
  • Assessment of the implications of the agreements of SPS and TBT (see annex 5);
  • Training provided to the activities of inspection, analysis, and handling of food products;
  • Training of trainers to the analysis of risk – point systems critical to their control (HACCP);
  • Training provided to the management of food control systems; and
  • Help to the strengthening of the national committees of the Codex (see annex 4).

In recent years which has significantly strengthened the priority given to its international and regional food safety activities. The organization also provides technical assistance to international, regional and national levels. A decentralized organization, which is divided into six regions, whose regional offices are responsible for the assistance offered to the Member States in the development and strengthening in kenya of their respective national programmes of the safety of food. Currently, the regional offices continue a series of capacity-building, designed to protect the health of consumers. The nature and scale of these activities are based on available resources, but include the following aspects:

  • Development of policies and regional and national food safety strategies;
  • Preparation of a food law regulations and standards for food, as well as codes of hygienic practice;
  • Implementation of food inspection programs;
  • Action for the methods and techniques designed to prevent foodborne illness, particularly through the application of the HACCP system;
  • Creation or strengthening of capacities for analysis of food products;
  • Development and realization of programs of training and hygiene education;
  • Creation of markets in line with the rules of hygiene and safety of food sold on the public road; and
  • Action for the implementation of a surveillance activity of foodborne illness.

The SPS Agreement (Article 9), as well as the TBT Agreement (Article 11), refer specifically to the need to provide technical assistance to developing countries. This assistance can be provided in areas such as technology, research, and infrastructure of food processing, the creation of national regulatory bodies, etc. In particular, developed importing countries of food from developing countries are required, upon request, to provide technical assistance to exporters in developing countries to allow them to fulfill their obligations in respect of the agreements SPS or TBT in international trade of food products. The TBT and SPS agreements specific clauses can be found in annex 5. This new possibility of technical assistance under the WTO agreements has yet fully put to use by developing countries.

It is also possible to obtain technical assistance in the field of food control through the World Bank and the other development banks, and with bilateral donor agencies. Access to these funds is a function of the priority given by the developing countries in strengthening their systems of food control, as indicated in their national development plans.


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