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FSQA, Department of Agriculture sign MoU

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By Olimatou Coker

The Food Safety and Quality Authority, in collaboration with the Plant Protection Service of the Department of Agriculture, recently signed a memorandum of understanding for coordination and collaboration in inspection and certification of plant-based imports and  exports in The Gambia, held at Metzy Hotel.

A recent diagnostic of the Gambia sanitary, phytosanitary, and food safety control systems shows that despite the promulgation of various sectoral regulatory texts, there is still a need for more coordination and collaboration among the frontline institutions to enhance the delivery of food safety, plant, and animal health and ultimately facilitate commercial agriculture.

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Mamoudou Bah , Director General Food Safety and Quality Authority, said: “We have worked tirelessly to get this MoU drafted, scrutinized, edited, and finally consensus built and approved by the various parties that are governing this MoU. It only strives to enhance the safety of the plants which is in terms of plant health, entirely the sanitary and phytosanitary situation of this country that we as the food safety want to really regulate and take charge of and improve and get rid of the obstacles that are holding us back in terms of food safety, but also in terms of trade”.

Musa Humma, Director General  Department of Agriculture, said food safety should be everyone’s priority.

“Nobody’s to be left behind when it comes to food, because it is everybody’s business. We literally don’t have a choice other than to cooperate or be a cooperating partner with the FSQA in this matter, because it is our business to make sure that we get a healthy, inclusive, resilient and sustainable food system.”

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He also said the MoU will be looking at food safety, plan protection, inspection and certification of food and plant related products and by products.

As part of the signing ceremony, the FSQA also trained over 30 food inspectors and plant protection inspectors from the food safety and quality authority and the plant protection service of the Department of Agriculture.

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