Food Hygiene Bureau

Theme: Increase your access to Global and Domestic Markets.




The issue of Food Security is of growing concern for the Caribbean and the world.  Indeed the Caribbean food import bill continues to rise at an alarming level as reported by the United Nation (FAO) and this is made worse by the current Covid-19 pandemic.  With only 6.5m people in the region, Caricom import bill rocketed from US$2.10 billion in 2000 to US$4.50Bn in 2011, with an estimated US$ 2021.  Food Security is not receiving priority attention by Government; emphasis is mainly on tourism.

According to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Jamaica spends over US$1B; the Bahamas, US$1.5Bn, Trinidad & Tobago US$1Bn, Barbados US$450 million, Guyana, US450 million, Haiti, US1.5bn and Cuba US2.5bn.

Our region has many arable lands for agriculture, yet we remain heavily dependent on external markets.

In this webinar we will learn of food security importance for our region, the advantages of new technology in creating more yields for farmers; the impact of processed foods technology on health and the recent FSMA rules and its importance on the supply chain market.Speakers from India, the USA and Jamaica will share on these topical issues.

Moderator Professor  Shashi  Vemuri  (India).



  • Food insecurity – Post Covid-19
  • Food Importation
  • New Technology in Food processing
  • Farm to Market digital technology
  • Q&A




Dr.Madhumita Barooah, India

Department of Agricultural Biotechnology,

Assam Agricultural University, Jorhat -13. India

Had her masters in Agricultural Biotechnology in with a fellowship from Department of Biotechnology , Govt. of India. In 1991, she joined as an Assistant professor and went  1998, she went for pre-doctoral studies in George town University, Washington in 1998  and later to Texas Agricultural and Mechanical University under Fulbright Fellowship program. In 2001 she received the Commonwealth scholarship to pursue doctoral studies in The University of Exeter, UK and worked with the renowned Rice Blast Scientst, Dr Nick Talbot.  In 2006 she visited Penn State University, USA under the Norman Borlaug fellowship program and later in 2014, received the DBT Overseas Fellowship for training in the University of Reading, UK.Her areas of Expertise is in Molecular Microbiology. She is credited with the establishment of thestate of the art Microbiology and has contributed significantly in not only publishing well cited research papers published in several peers reviewed journals but also developed technologies that has been transferred to several start-ups. The technologies include standardization of the method and development of defined culture for ethnic  rice based alcoholic beverage, production of vinegar from biowaste and development of bioformulation for plant growth and protection.  The laboratory headed by her has also filed 3 patents which are under consideration by the Patents office. Trained numbers students and researchers from NER, other parts of India including abroad on cutting edge microbial techniques. And  mentor to National Post Doctoral Fellow, and supervised several docotoral students including 2 Inspire fellows.



Dr. Donald Prater, Asst. Commission on Food Importation.

current capacity, reporting to the Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response (FPR),he serves as a member of OFPR’s executive leadership team providing direction and management to all imported food safety programs under the jurisdiction of the Deputy Commissioner FPR.  In addition, he serves as a senior scientific advisor and technical expert, supporting the Deputy Commissioner FPR on matters related to human and animal food safety and the implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) to ensure the safety of the U.S. food supply.

Previously, Dr.Prater was the Assistant Commissionerfor Food Safety Integration serving as the principal spokesperson on behalf of FDA’s Foods and Veterinary Medicine Program for imports discussions with external stakeholders, including foreign governments, as well as being responsible for import-related strategic resource planning activities.  During his FDA tenure, Dr. Prater was Director of FDA’s Europe Office in Brussels, Belgium and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Country Representative to the European Union.

Dr.Prater received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine (Government and Corporate track) in 1996.  Following a three-year residency in anatomic pathology, he joined FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) in 1999 as a Veterinary Medical Officer.  He served in several roles includingLeader of the Aquaculture Drugs Team, CVM Pathologist, and Director of the Division of Scientific Support.



Environmental Health Practitioner, Lead Auditor & Food Safety Specialist

Environmental Health Practitioner with a Passion for Food Hygiene and Safety Management Systems, with over 30 years in Environmental Health field with practical experience in designing and setting up education programmes, working with the leaders in the industry on designing systems, problem solving; auditing food and occupational health and safety systems and managing food safety projects to completion.  I have been working across the CARICOM Region and internationally.  I have been engaged globally as lead consultant on specialised projects in various sectors. Since 1999 I founded the Food Hygiene Bureau and have been working in partnership with International accredited organisations in the educational arenas. I am an ISO9001; and 22000 Lead Auditor capable of conducting third party audits, also a lead instructor for the FSMA PCQI courses, HACCP and Food Safety/Hygiene courses.

I have led the Food Hygiene Bureau in all areas of food safety and hygiene education and training and have been working with clients to ensure their Food Safety Management System and that their organisation is HACCP compliant for FSMA export.  I consider myself a Consumer Advocate in raising standards within the food and hospitality industry through training and education, technical solutions. So far I have planned and hosted 7 international food safety conferences,  Symposiums and Webinars for Caribbean food businesses.



Naveen Kumar V

Founder of NaPanta. a Digital Agricultural Platform (NDAP), an all-encompassing Kisan digital agricultural platform designed to support farmers in vernacular language and provide 360°-degree services in agriculture . NaPanta was named one of the top 10 most innovative and high-potential businesses in Telangana by Microsoft India and is being incubated by ICRISAT and mentored by T-hub Hyderabad. In the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, the NDAP  (NaPanta Digital Agricultural Platform) has an impact on over 240,000 farmers’ day-to-day agricultural activities.Advisory Board Member of Telangana State ASSOCHAM (Agriculture and Allied Sector Development Committee)
NFREZ is a forward market linkage platform for horticulture farmers, looking to improve the market access for their perishable products  startup founded by him.  Earlier, he was the founder of Apna Loan Bazaar, a retail loan distribution services portal in India.


Session Schedule:

9.00 Welcome & Introduction

9.15 AM Food Insecurity– Marva Hewitt, Food Hygiene Bureau, Jamaica

10.00AM :  Dr. Donald Prater, USA Acting Commission for food importation

10.30AM  Dr Barooh Madhumita, Assam Agricultural University, India

11.20 AM    Mr. Naveen Khumar V, NaPanta, India.

12.00 PM  Q&A


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