UMFCCI calls for suggestions to support needs in laboratory services for agricultural commodities testing

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A seminar underway to validate the need for laboratory services for agricultural commodities testing on 1 November 2023.

Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) organized a meeting on 1 November to invite suggestions for how to validate the need for laboratory services for agricultural commodities testing so that Myanmar can expand markets to Indonesia, said UMFCCI vice-president U Ye Min Aung.
Indonesia is a populous country in Southeast Asia so there is a high potential for Myanmar to penetrate the market with agricultural commodities.
As per the Food Safety Law of Indonesia, food safety is of vital importance to penetrate the Indonesian market. They ask for a food safety certificate from the authorized laboratory of the respective country.
Myanmar did not meet the criteria set by Indonesia amid the shortage of skilled staff and laboratory equipment for testing. At present, the country is fully equipped with laboratory equipment and ready for testing.
Myanmar exerted concerted efforts to earn ISO 17025 to provide chemical and pesticide residue-free certificates and ensure fungal disease to export agricultural produce to Indonesia. Furthermore, the exporting businesses can earn a good reputation in the market.
Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures between Indonesia and Myanmar aim to facilitate trade. The ISO certification for agricultural produce can benefit the farmers as well as exporters, U Ye Min Aung highlighted.
Director-General Dr Ye Tint Tun of the Agriculture Department under the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation also addressed that exporters must be aware of the criteria, standards and import regulations of the countries. The rejected goods will be returned to the supplier if the goods do not meet quality and criteria. This meeting elaborated on testing for chemical and pesticide residue and possible toxicity of the agricultural commodities. Only samples of the products are sent to the laboratories of the respective countries before exportation. Farmers must adhere to good agricultural practices to ensure pesticide residue-free. He encouraged the businesspersons engaged in the supply chain to conduct awareness and provide growing methods for the farmers.
Agricultural Produce Analytical Lab – APAL of the Agriculture Department has earned ISO 17025 and is approved by Indonesia. This lab can offer testing for food safety in line with the global standard to export goods to foreign countries in addition to Indonesia.
Director U Zaw Lin, in charge of the plant protection division of the Agriculture Department and Dr Khin Moe Kyaw of the plant protection division’s laboratory, explained laboratory testing of the agricultural commodities. Officials of the Myanmar Pulses, Beans, Maize and Sesame Seeds Merchants Association, the UMFCCI, and Myanmar Rice Federation also raised opinions regarding requirements of the agricultural produce designated to be exported to Indonesia. — NN/EM

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