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Monday, February 3, 2014

Nepal Improving Food Safety for Fruit and Vegetable Markets

KATHMANDU: The Kalimati Fruits and Vegetables Market Development Board will be upgrading the market in the near future by reforming it in various ways that will benefit customers.
Keeping the customer at the centre, the market is going to establish a laboratory on the market premises, which will measure the pesticide residue level in the produce and verify its acceptance level for consumption. The market will be using the Rapid Bioassay for Pesticide Residue (RBPR) analysis technique for this.
“Safe food for the public is our concern,” said programme director at Plant Protection Directorate Dilli Ram Sharma. He also informed that the introduction of the RBPR analysis technique will discourage farmers from using pesticides haphazardly to some extent.
The technique will identify the pesticide residue level in vegetables and fruits and provide information on whether they are fit for human consumption. If products with high levels of pesticide residue are consumed regularly, it severely harms human health and the environment.
Speaking at a press meet today, joint secretary at the ministry of agricultural development and chairperson of the Kalimati Fruits and Vegetables Market Development Board Mohan Chapagain said: “The board will manage the market by checking malpractices prevalent in the market. Pressure from politicians regarding stall distribution is a common practice which should be stopped.”
Furthermore, the major reforms that the market is currently seeking are waste management system; interactive programme between farmers and wholesalers, and farmers and board; enhancing security system; developing online system for retail and wholesale price; forming a workforce to control price and installing an electronic weighing machine, among others.

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