Gambia Standards Bureau Trains Extension Workers on Good Harvest Standards

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By: Kebba AF Touray

The Gambia Standards Bureau (TGSB), the legal arm of Government mandated to develop and publish national standards in all sectors of the country’s economy and provide conformity assessment and metrology services, through support from the GIRAV project embarked on a week-long nationwide training of Regional Agricultural Extension Workers on the requirements of the Standards for Good Post-harvest Practices of Maize, and standard for Storage and Warehouse Requirements for Rice

The trainings took place in Basse, Upper River Region, Janjanbureh, Central River Region, Kerewan, North Bank Region, Jenoi, Lower River Region and Bwiam West Coast Region respectively.

The training objective was to build the capacities of the participants on the provisions of the two standards in order to ensure that post-harvest handling of maize and the storage of rice is done in line with national standards and international best practices.

The Director of Standardisation at Gambia Standards Bureau Mr. Jallow, thanked the Ministry of Agriculture and Department of Agriculture for the partnership in integrating standardisation practices into the Agricultural practices of The Gambia to add value to the products harvested in the farms and ensure the quality of the produce is maintained along the value chain.

Mr Jallow emphasized that when standards are fully implemented, quality maize and rice grains products from the point of harvest to the point of sale/processing/consumption will be greatly enhanced. He added that it can also help farmers access local, regional and international markets without hitches thereby promoting commercial farming and enhancing farmers income level.

Saikou Drammeh, Standards Officer for Food and Agricultural Products and Mutarr Seckan, Cadet Certification Officer of the Gambia Standards Bureau took participants through the requirements of the standards clause by clause.

The Regional Agricultural Directors and their representatives at all the regions hailed The Gambia Standards Bureau for the initiative and promised to work closely with the Bureau in the realisation of the desired quality produce in the agricultural sector.

Extension officer who spoke to Foroyaa after the training, expressed appreciations to Standard Bureau for the training which they described as timely, as the farming community is gearing up this year’s farming season.

They said: “The skills and knowledge gained from the training will help us greatly in tackling post-harvest losses and will help us and farmers to follow the necessary guidelines to ensure that produce are of high quality and standard which will accord the key to penetrate the international market”.

The next steps will be more capacity building of the published standards, step-down training targeting farmers, inspection and certification of systems and products that conforms with requirements of the national standards.

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