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Bishkek (AKIpress) - IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is helping Kyrgyz producers improve food safety practices to spur agribusiness growth and greater investment in the agricultural sector, a key engine of the country’s economy.
IFC brought together over 50 food businesses, industry experts, and government officials to learn international best practices in food safety on April 11. The kick-off workshop highlights the importance of food safety management systems, and how good food safety practices help companies strengthen their market positions and achieve notable results.
Employing a third of the workforce, agriculture plays a vital role in the Kyrgyz economy, yet still offers great potential for growth and investment. Improving food safety is not only important for public health, but also for the growth of the agribusiness sector, since it provides companies an opportunity to grow and enter regional and global markets.
“Knowledge sharing is important for local companies as the number of companies introducing internationally recognized food safety management systems is growing,” said Natalia Tsoi, Director of Quality at Ak Bata Limited. “Implementation of good food safety practices is an integral part of company development, helping them cut costs, become more competitive, and add new export markets.”
Martin Naegele, IFC Country Officer, said: “We are expanding our advisory work on food safety in the Kyrgyz Republic. This work builds on our experience with agribusiness firms in the region, where we have seen that internationally recognized standards open new opportunities for growth and investment.”
Supported by the Austrian Finance Ministry, IFC’s advisory work on food safety has helped attract more than $156 million of investment in over 80 IFC clients in Europe and Central Asia, generating $323 million in increased sales, in addition to greater efficiency and cost savings and improved waste and risk management and brand value.