Pesticides residues discussed

  • Pesticides residues discussed

    Pesticides residues discussed

    National  Food  Technology  Research  Centre  (NFTRC) recently  brought together  some  key  stakeholders  to  talk  about  pesticides residues  in  fruits  and vegetables.

    When  giving  welcome  remarks,  Acting  Managing  Director  Dr  Kebakile said the workshop follows the study that looked at identification and quantification of pesticide residues in fruits and vegetables consumed by the public.

    Dr  Kebakile  said  the  study  was  carried  out  in  Kanye  and  extended  SelibePhikwe where NFTRC currently runs a commercial food processing plant.

    He  said  that  the  baseline  survey  study  was  funded  by  the  Food  and Agriculture  Organisation  (FAO)  for  NFTRC  to  look  at  the  safety  of  food consumed in Botswana.

    Therefore  NFTRC  went  on  and  did  the  assessment  of  pesticides  residues found  in  fruits  and  vegetables  and  of  the  incidence  of mycotoxins in selected food products from various storage facilities in Botswana.

    He  urged  the  workshop  participants  to  feel  free and  discuss  the  way  forward  regarding  the recent  NFTRC  findings,  adding  that  government entities must work together to protect the health of Batswana.

    Food  Chemistry  Department  Principal Research Scientist Dr Boitshepo Keikotlhaile said the  results  from  the  pilot  samples  showed  that some of the pesticides residues found were below the Maximum Residue Limits (MRL) set by Codex Alimentarius, while others were above the MRLs and some have been prohibited for use in recent years.

    Dr Keikotlhaile highlighted that NFTRC is open for collaboration with other stakeholders on the subject matter.

    Ministry of Health and Wellness Chief Health Officer, Mr Abia Sebaka commended NFTRC for doing the study in Selibe Phikwe as a quality control measure for NAPro.

    Mr Sebaka advised NFTRC to carry out the study in areas of preference then grow the study country wide with time.

    Local Enterprise Authority representative, Mr Kereemang Moilwa called for root cause analysis so that the issue of pesticide residue is solved form the farm to the consumer.

    He recommended that more stakeholders, especially policy makers, should be involved in the project.

    When  asked  about  the  fruitfulness  of  the  workshop,  Dr  Keikotlhaile  said  everything  went  well,  adding  that whatever was discussed will be used in the future.

    She  said  the  main  challenge  was  that  the  stakeholders  tasked  with  Pesticides  Residues  Legislation  could  not make it to the workshop due to unforeseen circumstances.

    The  workshop  was  attended  by  representatives  from  Ministry  of  Health  and  Wellness,  Botswana,  National Veterinary Laboratory, Agric Business and Local Enterprise Authority.

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