As a component of the Bangladesh Integrated Food Policy Research Program, the ADM Institute for the Prevention of Postharvest Loss hosted a three-week short course for persons engaged in food policy issues with the Government of Bangladesh.
From August 27 – September 18, a cohort of eight officials from the Bangladesh Ministry of Food visited the University of Illinois for a series of seminars, workshops and field trips to give them new perspectives on food systems, food policy, and postharvest management.
Participants learned from experts in a range of fields, including commodity marketing, food fortification, grain storage and processing, and food policy analysis. They focused on guided research and writing related to a professional project identified in advance. In addition, the group also went on field trips to ADM facilities in Decatur, local farms and grain elevators, historical sites in Springfield, and the Mercantile Exchange and an urban farm in Chicago.
On September 17, high-level guests from the Government of Bangladesh joined the cohort for tours, final presentations, and a closing ceremony and reception. This delegation included: Mr. Shahabuddin Ahmed, Secretary, Ministry of Food; Md. Gazi ur Rahman, Project Director, Modern Food Storage Program, Ministry of Food; and Md. Arifur Rahman Apu, Director General, Directorate of Food, Ministry of Food.
On the last day of the short course, each individual presented his final project, a policy brief on some aspect of food policy in Bangladesh, to representatives of the Bangladesh Ministry of Food and University of Illinois faculty members.
Presentation topics included the role of hermetically-sealed bags in reducing postharvest grain loss, challenges of distributing fortified rice through government programs, adjusting food safety standards, and rice and wheat public storage systems.
Illinois faculty members who participated in the short course seminars included: Dr. Alex Winter-Nelson, ADMI director and professor in Agricultural & Consumer Economics; Dr. Juan Andrade and Dr. Matthew Stasiewicz, Food Science & Human Nutrition; Dr. David Bullock and Dr. Mindy Mallory, Agricultural & Consumer Economics; and Dr. Prasanta Kalita, Agricultural & Biological Engineering.