Thursday, December 17, 2009


Dr. Babou Jobe, director of National Research Institute (NARI) has said that the government of The Gambia is concern about quality standards of groundnut and other crops, vegetables grown in the country for its citizens.
Dr. Jobe was speaking at the handing over of screens and scales equipments to the Gambia Groundnut Sub-Sector under the European Union (EU) Funded STABEX Framework of Mutual Obligation (FMO) 1999 Project at a ceremony held on the 16th December 2009, at the Gambia Groundnut Cooperation (GGC) Complex, Denton Bridge.
STABEX FMO 99 was signed in March 2008 to compliment other measures of the groundnut Roadmap Implementation Framework formulated in 2006 with financial support from EU at a tune of 1.6 million Euros for a period of three years.
The project is designed to improve the competitiveness of the groundnut sub[sector with respect to quality assurance.
According to Dr. Jobe, the government of the Gambia in collaboration with Development Partners, particularly the European Union is putting in place the necessary quality assurance system to facilitate the attainment of international quality standard, specifically on aflatoxin contamination and Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs) in groundnut in the country.
He pointed out that the government in collaboration with European Union is engaged in reversing the trend of quality standards adding that with the partnership, he is certain that the quality control will be addressed.
Dr. Jobe noted that by putting in place quality standards, “there will be an increased in our export earning by providing safe food for the growing international marketplace” but with high level of contamination of aflatoxin in our groundnut “we cannot meet the international market” and farmers cannot export their groundnuts. He disclosed.
“There are great prospects and potentials for a revitalized groundnut sector, which can impact very positively on rural welfare and poverty reduction.”
Explaining about the STABEX FMO 99 Project, Dr. Jobe said that the project is designed to improve the competitiveness of the groundnut sub-sector with respect to quality assurance that is through technical assistance for the development of a quality assurance framework including an updated legal and regulatory framework. Provision of equipment for testing and analysis mycotoxins (aflatoxin) at laboratory and field levels, provision of grading equipments that is screens and scales to groundnut buying centres (seccos) and rehabilitation of the three Tugboats of GGC river transport fleet.

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