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WACOMP Hands Over Laboratory Equipment To 4 Institutions

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Lumana Kamashi, EU representative handing over tool box to Bakanding Fofana, FSQA Principal Food Inspector

By Ramatoulie Jawo

The West Africa Competitiveness Programme the Gambia (WACOMP) on Friday handed over laboratory equipment to Food Safety and Quality Authority (FSQA), Plant Protection Services (PPS), The Gambia Standards Bureau (TGSB), and Agriculture Extension Services (AES).

The handing over of the equipment took place at WACOMP’s main office along the Sukuta- Bursubi highway.

Speaking at the event the UNIDO international expert, Adalberto Vieira, said they did and filed assessment to discuss with the main stakeholders and agreed on what would now be the priority taken to consider the challenge that they have right now in the Gambia in the field of food safety and quality acessment; then they agreed on a list of equipment that they should buy.

“So we believe that this equipment will give a key contribution to the improvement of the food safety and quality assessment in the Gambia by providing the conditions for the different stakeholders,” he said.

He added that the equipment would also contribute from the perspective of the consumers because when the consumers see the quality right now that they have the conditions to carry out test in order to assess safe and quality of the food that are made available to the society, then they can trust more in the produts with that the business environment can improve.

Vieira said they are also providing some training to insitutions on use the of equipment because they believe that together with the equipments its important to provide some capacity building so that the insitutions can use the equipment to support their activities.

Hassan Gaye, Deputy permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Trade said since the inception of the project, WACOMP is working closely with the Ministry of Trade, which they are very happy with.

He added that with the support of WACOMP, the Ministry of Trade is taking the lead in the development of the national laboratory policy for the Gambia and the development of food testing laboratory, which would be internationally accredited

“This equipment that are handed over today are really timely and will fully support the efforts of the insitutions to role out conformity assessment services for the benefit of the public,” he said.

Fatou Jammah Touray, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture said one of the expected outputs in the pursuit of the aim of The West Africa Competitiveness Programme The Gambia (WACOMP) is to strengthen technical capacities of the Ministry of Agriculture and related services to support the implementation of food quality and safety standards at primary production.

She ugred the Plant Protection Services (PPS) and the Agriculture Extension Services (AES) to take good care of the equipment that will be haded over to them.

Lumana Kamashi,  EU representative, said the EU funded WACOMP project was designed to increase competitiveness in The Gambia by enhancing quality compliance along the onion value chain and thereby enhancing its integration into the regional and international trading systems.

“It is our hope that the beneficiary institutions will judiciously utilize these valuable items to help enhance their competences in relation to food conformity assessment in the country and better serve the Gambian people,” she said. 

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