The United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and International Egg Commission (IEC) are co-hosting a two day seminar in Lusaka, the capital city of Zambia, on September 18 and 19. Government representatives, veterinarians and egg producers from Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe are attending the seminar to discuss ways to increase egg production and consumption in the region. They will be joined by FAO experts and IEC members from the United States, Canada and Australia.

Organized by the FAO and the IEC, the Capacity Building seminar will help establish and develop national egg producer organizations and facilitate the transfer of information between national and regional egg producer organizations in the Southern African region. Sharing information about best practices, the nutritional value of eggs and how to increase production and consumption in the region will assist the development of commercial egg producers of all sizes, including small family producers.

"The aim of this seminar is to share information between all attendees, and create long-lasting working relationships. Governments and producers in these nine Southern African countries will gain valuable practical advice and support about how to increase the contribution of eggs to a healthy nutrition and food security and how producer organizations can convey these messages and assist producers with advice about egg production and disease management," said Dr. Olaf Thieme, from the FAO.

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"By working together in this way, we can increase knowledge. An increase in knowledge will lead to increased understanding; with this, we hope to meet our ultimate aim of better nutrition for people living in these Southern African nations," Thieme added.

Dr. Vincent Guyonnet from the IEC said, "The IEC is holding its annual Marketing and Production Conference in Cape Town later in September; this means that over 400 representatives from egg industries around the world will be gathered in South Africa discussing the latest issues affecting the egg industry. The IEC felt that this provided an ideal opportunity to bring some of the expertise developed by IEC members around the world to the egg producers' associations in these nine Southern African nations. By partnering with the FAO, we were able to bring together both the private and public sectors dealing with egg production in these nine countries. This partnership is critical for the growth of egg production and consumption in the region."

The seminar will be structured into five interactive sessions across the two days. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn about and discuss the role eggs play in human nutrition, the global and regional shell eggs trade, egg production models and challenges, the latest trends in egg production and examples of the work carried out by egg producer organizations in different countries.