TO enhance the capacities of halal professionals, practitioners and policymakers in Southeast Asia, a training workshop was held at Universiti Putra Malaysia-Halal Products Research Institute (UPM-HPRI), according to the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (Searca).

The University of the Philippines Los Baños-headquartered Searca said the Regional Training-Workshop on Halal Slaughtering and Certification was in partnership with the UPM-HPRI which was conducted in Putrajana, Malaysia on August 23 to 25, 2022.

This training workshop was also participated by other key players and stakeholders on halal slaughtering and certification to increase the exchange of knowledge and information and to explore potential collaborations for further development of the halal industry in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) region.

According to Dr. Glenn Gregorio, Searca director, this collaborative capacity-building initiative with the UPM is designed to support the ongoing initiatives of the Asean Working Group on Halal Food (AWGHF).

Addressing the Strategic Thrust 2 of the AWGHF Plan of Action 2021 to 2025, the training-workshop targets to boost regional and international collaboration through capacity building and information exchange to improve the adoption of halal best practices in the region.

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Gregorio said this Asean training workshop relates to the AWGHF's recommended thematic areas which include Halal good management practices, slaughtering practices, production and standard awareness.

He said the event has been recognized as an official Asean event which was participated by representatives from the AWGHF, the Southeast Asian University Consortium for Graduate Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources as participants in this event.

Gregorio noted that with the private sector joining, the participants were expected to prepare a Re-entry Action Plan that will outline suggested strategies and actions on how to address the current gaps and challenges in the halal industry in their respective countries and in the Asean region.