SPS system and fruit export: GQTL to help Pakistani traders’ access to int’l market
ISLAMABAD: Food and Agriculture Minister Nazar Muhammad Gondal on Monday said establishment of Grain Quality Testing Laboratory (GQTL) at the National Agricultural Research Centre (NARC) would help ensure access of international market to Pakistani traders.
He was speaking to scientists at NARC at the inauguration of GQTL. It was to be noted that Grain Quality Testing Lab was an important component of Food Quality & Nutrition Programme. It was recently established to provide all the facilities for grain quality testing under one roof.
In coming future, Grain Quality Testing Lab would play a key role in determining the quality of the grains in order to meet the challenges of export and import of the commodities. Objectives of GQTL were quality testing of exportable agricultural produce for public and private sectors, to enhance the grain and its products quality testing capabilities, to provide trained manpower in Pakistan and to undertake research and grain quality testing work.
Gondal said one of the pre-requisites of international trade was the quality of product and compliance of the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Standards (SPS) system and Pakistan was far behind in facilitating traders to meet these requirements.
He said in spite of producing finest quality agricultural products, Pakistan had been unable to compete in the international markets. During the last five years, there were several rejections of Pakistani export consignments due to quality and SPS non-compliance, he added.
He said there was no doubt that GQTL would provide an opportunity to scientists, grain exporters and students to make use of this facility. “I would advise scientists to help modernize our agriculture which is the mainstay of Pakistan’s economy.”
The minister said that in order to address the quality and SPS issues, National Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (NAPHIS) was created to coordinate and supervise the activity of its component units.
Gondal claimed that NAPHIS had strengthened the grain quality and SPS testing facilities of Grain Quality Testing Lab at NARC.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr ZAfar Altaf Chairman, of Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC), said results of the laboratories should reach the stakeholders.