Regional and international markets demand that food manufacturers produce final products that meet international quality and safety standards. Through the Central Asia University Partnerships Program (UniCEN), administered by American Councils for International Education and funded by the U.S. State Department through the U.S. Embassy in Tashkent, Purdue University is collaborating with Tajik Agrarian University (TAU) and Tajikistan Technical University to introduce food safety and agriculture curriculum for faculty.

Two professors from Purdue University’s College of Agriculture, Dr. Amanda Deering and Dr. Kevin McNamara, prepared 10 pre-recorded sessions, totaling 190 minutes, on the topics of food safety, worker’s health, post-harvest sanitation, public-private partnerships, and more. Each video module was translated into Russian and published on YouTube for participants to review.

In December 2021, the partners organized a 3-hour virtual-live hybrid event in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. 30 faculty from Tajik Agrarian University and Tajik Technological University discussed the role of food safety to make Tajikistani agricultural education more relevant for the economy. The workshop provided the opportunity for networking among researchers and professors in chemistry, food enterprises, food production technology, food quality and safety, and other disciplines. Each participant wrote an overview of lessons learned, and those who completed modules earned a certificate.

Based on this workshop, Purdue University agricultural experts introduced faculty in Tajikistan with best practices to support local growers with food production capacity and marketability of food products grown and processed in Tajikistan.