Participant’s name: Ms. Irada HUSEYNLI
Program’s name: “Local Industry Development through the Enhancement of Hygiene and Quality Management for Animal-Sourced Foods: milk, meat and eggs”
Program’s period: February 19 – April 23, 2020
Japan as a country has always been interesting and intriguing to me, thanks to a number of articles describing its unique features and culture, I had a sense of familiarity though in absentia. From the first moment I set foot in Japan, my first sight(s) confirmed what I had heard and imagined about the country.
I was able to come and get acquinted to this lovely country, thanks to the opportunity to participate in the Knowledge Co-creation Training Program, February 19 to April 23, 2020. This training program and course, “Local Industry Development through the Enhancement of Hygiene and Quality Management for Animal-Sourced Foods: milk, meat and eggs”, provide knowledge on the hygiene and quality management in production, processing and distribution of animal-sourced foods. The animal targets being livestock; cattle, swine and poultry.
The content of program provided comprehensive knowledge and focus on these major areas; i) Animal Production, ii) Food safety and iii) Project Management Cycle (PCM)/ Action plan writing. These areas were intended to focus on livestock hygiene, food hygiene and traceability of animal-sourced foods. I was also able to learn about Japan Agricultural Cooperatives, the outline of husbandry and production and hygiene of raw milk in Hokkaido.
The training was held in Obihiro city and the course had representatives from 5 different countries: Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, the Philippines and Uganda. The program consisted of lectures, practices and site visits. Classes were conducted in both English and Japanese with English translation. Lectures by professors from Obihiro University Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, as well as practical and observational classes conducted in the laboratory and other relevant departments of the University, led to a more effective understanding of the topics included in the program. Observations on dairy farms and slaughterhouses helped to monitor the hygienic requirements for the realization of animal products from the moment of initial production and to improve existing knowledge in this regard.
Beside learning the contents of training course program we also had an opportunity to get acquainted with the Japanese culture and traditions due to several cultural events which were organized by JICA; Japanese yukata, ikebana art, origami making, etc. In addition, we visited the Obihiro Centennial City Museum, Obihiro Horse Museum which left us with wonderful impressions about Japanese tradition and culture. At the same time, the rich nature of the Tokachi sub-prefecture, which includes the city of Obihiro, and the endless fields of organic farming, agree with the title of Tokachi as “the Food Basket of Japan.”
I was very impressed by the culture of the people in the queues in public places, their patience and gentleness towards each other, my most profound memory is and will always be the kindness of the JICA family. I hope that the knowledge I learned during this training will play an invaluable role in my daily work and in the activities carried out in this field in our country in generally.
I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to all staff of JICA Obihiro, the professors of Obihiro University Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, experts of Tokachi Federation of Agricultural Cooperatives and all those who were involved in this Knowledge Co-Creation Program.
Finally, I would like to thank the Government of Japan, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) at large, the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the leadership of the Food Safety Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the JICA Georgia Office and the JICA Representation in Azerbaijan for giving me the opportunity to participate in this training.
I hope to return to Japan in the future to relive the good impressions I had during my stay here.