More than 220 universities have joined FAO to expand learning opportunities and improve food security policies in Latin America. The new educational alliance will put new knowledge within the reach of thousands of professionals in the food sector. food safety and nutrition in Latin America and the Caribbean. Both individuals and institutions will be able to access a wide range of courses on the Internet to develop their skills, enabling the improvement of educational policy and program design.
The initiative will offer a new master’s degree in food security, complementary to the online learning courses currently offered by FAO. The collaboration will focus on current and potential legislators through a network of more than 220 universities in the region.
With the support of the European Union (EU), FAO signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Union of Universities of Latin America and the Caribbean (UDUAL) for the development of an educational program. FAO and UDUAL will work with the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture (IICA) to develop study plans. The start of these courses is scheduled for January 2015.
The aim of this initiative is to contribute to the capacity development of a wide range of food safety experts, including nutritionists, statisticians, market analysts and other experts from ministries or public institutions. Online course tools will also be available to farmers, marketers and farmworkers interested in these topics. The goal is to expand the food and nutrition policy in order to eradicate hunger in the region by 2025.
“This agreement focuses on how knowledge and policies can come together to offer solutions to food insecurity,” said Roberto Escalante, Secretary General of UDUAL. “Good policies are based on knowledge.” Joining forces with organizations such as FAO and IICA to build knowledge on food safety is a good way to combat hunger“.
“Direct training of every legislator is simply impossible,” said Lloyd Day, Deputy Director General of IICA, “as traditional training involves significant travel, resource and time costs. However, with e-learning courses we can reach those individuals who would otherwise not be able to access such courses.”
Day added that the more people this initiative reaches, the more successful it will be in “building the capacity of people and governments to base their decisions on good science and accepted legislation to help provide safer and more affordable food for a hungry world.”
For more information on food safety e-learning courses, visit: www.foodsec.org
Source: FAO Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean