QUETTA: The European Union has handed over a mobile food-testing laboratory to the Balochistan Food Authority (BFA) to help it ensure food, especially the processed one, is free of contamination, accurately labelled and comply with relevant safety standards.

The lab was handed over to BFA by European Union Ambassador to Pakistan Dr Riina Kionka, at a ceremony held in Quetta on Wednesday.

Equipped with a suite of testing technology, along with its crew of technicians, the lab will provide experts with scientific expertise on the spot to “help support both consumer confidence but also public health”, a press release said.

The mobile lab handing over was part of the EU-funded project Growth for Rural Advancement and Sustainable Progress (GRASP), implemented by the International Trade Centre. GRASP is working for poverty reduction and sustainable and inclusive growth through development of rural small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in select districts of Sindh and Balochistan.

Following an assessment of food authorities of Sindh and Balochistan in 2020, GRASP identified the need to provide mobile food testing facilities to both provinces to help support the implementation of food safety standards and overall quality assurance of food items being supplied to markets.

Through GRASP, officials of the Balochistan Food Authority have been trained on Sanitary and Phytosanitary compliance issues in relation to requirement for wider market access, including towards potential international exports in addition to supporting and reviewing

regulatory and operational frameworks of the authority, towards its overall strengthening and operational capacity.

Published in Dawn, November 24th, 2022

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