26 African states attend Agrochemicals food testing training

Kampala, uganda-Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) is hosting participants from 26 African countries for a four-day Regional Training on Analytical Methods for Veterinary Drugs and Pesticides in Animal Products.

The training is sponsored by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in collaboration with the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) and the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF).

While speaking at the opening session of the training, UNBS Acting Executive Director, Mr. David Livingstone Ebiru said: “The purpose of the training was to enhance the capabilities of participants in testing of Agro chemicals, particularly veterinary drugs and related pesticides in products such as beef, milk, fish, honey and animal feeds which have huge export potential for the Uganda”.

Participants have been drawn from Algeria, Benin, Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Senegal, Sudan, Seychelles, Tunisia, Zambia, United Republic of Tanzania and Uganda.

Veterinary drugs, pesticides, growth hormones and related chemicals used in agricultural production are a major public health challenge in terms of contamination and presence of chemical residues in human food.

“Therefore, enhancing the testing capacity of participants was an important step in ensuring that industries meet food safety requirements for consumer protection and but also to be able to access international markets” Mr. Ebiru added.

UNBS recently received the state-of-the-art Analytical Equipment (Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry – LCMS/MS) from International Atomic Energy Agency to enhance its capacity to undertake analysis of veterinary drugs and pesticide residues in animal products.

“The LCMS/MS has enabled UNBS to build its capacity to carry out screening and quantitative analysis of pesticide residues, antibiotics, and other organic contaminants in various food stuffs including food of animal origin”, Mr Ebiru said.

“At UNBS, we are committed to working with partners to protect the health and safety of consumers but also support Ugandan Exporters to access international markets and earn foreign exchange for the country. This training will therefore enable our staff and partners to acquire the necessary skills to carry out the required analysis of agrochemical to ensure that the food consumed and exported is safe,” Mr. Ebiru said.