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Cochran Fellowship Program brings Egyptian officials to MSU
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Two Egyptian food safety officials have visited Mississippi State University as part of the Cochran Fellowship Program.
Dr. Abdel Azim A.E. Bayoumy and Dr. Safwat A. El Hadded were in Mississippi almost two weeks during November for training sessions and tours of agricultural facilities.
Bayoumy is the general director of the Food Safety Department for Egypt’s Ministry of Health and Population. His agency inspects food processing plants, hotels, cruise ships, supermarkets, street vendors and other food outlets. The Food Safety Department also is involved in inspections of food exports and imports.
El Hadded is Egypt’s under secretary of plant quarantine and serves as director of the country’s Potato Brown Rot Project. He is responsible for managing and organizing relationships between Egypt and other nations regarding plant quarantine issues.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agriculture Program administers the Cochran Fellowship Program. The goal of the two-week program is to provide an overview of U.S. agriculture and intensive training in the participants’ chosen fields, said MSU agricultural economist Bill Herndon, Jr., who coordinated the Cochran Fellows visit.
“While on campus, Dr. Bayoumy and Dr. El Hadded attended lectures related to their areas of responsibility at the College of Veterinary Medicine and toured research facilities,” Herndon said. “They also visited MSU, USDA and other facilities in Jackson and in the Delta.
Both officials agreed that their time in Mississippi gave them a better understanding of U.S. food safety procedures.
“The food inspection system here is very good, and there is a good relationship between the university and food inspection officials,” Bayoumy said.
The visit also helped establish ties with MSU.
“We now have more knowledge of the system here and see that it could be possible to cooperate with the university on work with food inspection procedures,” El Hadded said.
The program that brought the Egyptian officials to MSU is named for Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), who helped establish it in 1984 as a way to work with middle-income countries to develop trade benefits for the participating countries and U.S. agriculture. It has provided U.S.-based training for more than 9,000 international participants from 87 countries.