From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
Sierra Leone’s Agricultural Products to attract International Market
By Bampia Bundu
Jun 23, 2010, 17:14

Government’s efforts in making Sierra Leone’s Agricultural products competitive in the International market have been enhanced at a workshop held on 21st June at the Panache Conference Hall, Jomo Kenyatta Road in Freetown.

"Most countries like Sierra Leone have to meet increasingly restrictive requirements in order to access international trade. Therefore Sierra Leone has positioned itself in line with international requirements and standards," so said the Deputy Director General of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security, Idara Sheriff in his address to participants in the validation workshops for the Phytosanitary policy and Phytosanitary Act.

He said the policy and the bills are formulated as means to achieving the desired goals, adding that participants who are working partners, representing Ministries of Agriculture and Trade, the Sierra Leone Standards Bureau, University of Sierra Leone, Research Institute and NGOs are not only to identify gaps from the draft document, but making suggestions to improve them in order to conveniently position Sierra Leone to capture its share of global agricultural trade.

Also to speak at the occasion was the Director of Standards Bureau, James Sayoh Dumbuya who disclosed that it is in the exercise of the mandate of Standards Bureau to develop standards relating to products, measurements, materials, processes and services that it thought it wise to develop phytosanitary Policy and Act containing the required standard for quality service delivery. He emphasized that the photosanitary standards as import quarantine system in Sierra Leone are not aligned with international practices and that the regulations are outdated. "New regulations for photosanitary issues are required to regulate and controls the import /export products’ inspection, sale and use of food safety products to ensure compliance with international standards," he said. In conclusion he thanked the World Bank and the Rural and Private Sector Development Project for funding the programme.

The workshop was climaxed with the launching of the draft document.

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