By Abdul Rahman Bangura –
NEW AFRICA BUSINESS NEWS ( NABN ) Freetown, Sierra Leonne- LIBERIA, The Director-General of the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA) divulged that all is outlined for the setting up and succeeding operation of a state of the art fisheries competent laboratory (Post-Harvest and Quality Assurance) in Liberia. The laboratory paraphernalia has reached in Monrovia under the Icelandic project.
Mrs. Emma M. Glassco from a press release, pointed out that Liberia is a coastal state with the second-longest coastline in the sub-region next to Nigeria.
“Although Liberia is very rich in high-value commercial quantities of both demersal and pelagic fish stocks, the country has lost its exporting powers to international fish markets due to the failure to set up a competent laboratory for the purpose of testing and certification of fish products. As a result, there is a huge revenue leakage”, she lamented.
Mrs. Glassco began again that NaFAA has also ascertained its readiness to approve ISO- International Organization for Standardization’s strategies which will be laid out in its updated 2020 statutes and has gone one step further by upholding international agreements such as the Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA), an FAO legal instrument in an endeavor to get the mandatory accreditation either from USA, EU, the UK among others for export.
She confessed the competent Laboratory after completion, will certainly be foremost of its kind since the 1970s.
“Once the lab is accredited, fishery products for export from Liberia do not need to be routed through second member countries such as Ghana and Ivory coast, satisfying an alternative for straightforward dividend income from exports thereby precipitating at least three times increment or more in its current revenue generation”.
Madam Glassco ensured that the refined equipment will be inaugurated, governed and galloped for a couple of months by Icelandic consultants (after the COVID 19 pandemic subsides) enlisted for the purpose of this project. She remarked that the Icelandic government has also given six months coaching for laboratory technicians to foster utilize the laboratory after the testing and trials period.
She admitted that quite recently, about six of the employees retreated from Iceland readied with both theoretical and technical skills to apply in the day to day operations of the Fisheries Competent Laboratory.
Director Glassco added the Fisheries Competent Laboratory will be jointly operated by NaFAA and the Liberia National Standard Laboratory when acted into law for the basis of uniformity and coherence of national protocols and set Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) which will be laid out by a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to be ratified by heads of both institutions.
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