Jul 9, 2008, 6:15 AM
A workshop on Sanitary and Phyto-sanitary Measures, sought to sensitize participants on the need to prioritize investment on SPS (Sanitary and Phyto-sanitary Study) measures ended recently at NaNA in Kanifing.
The workshop aimed to better prepare participants to advocate for funding and other necessary support in the implementation of SPS measures.
The forum that draw participants from various sectors was organised by ECOWAS in partnership with the PANSPSO Project of the African Union Interafrican Bureau of Animal Resources AU/IBAR mainly to strengthen national SPS committees and training of trainers on science-based methods and the use of scientific methods in setting standard.
Dr Kebab Daffeh, deputy director of Animal Health and Production Services, said the three-day forum was important. “The workshop also sought to contribute towards enhancing capacity of Member States in building of common or coordinated positions on SPS standards at continental and REC Level,” he added.
He noted that the other objective was to enhance the effective participation of ECOWAS Member States in the activities of organisations mandated by the World Trade Organization (WTO) to set up standards, notably the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC), and the International Plant Protection Commission (IPPC).
According to Dr Daffeh, The Gambia was fully represented in the workshop by a seven-man delegation comprising the OIE delegate for The Gambia, Codex Contact Point, IPPC FOCAL Point, the president of The Gambia Sheep and Goats Breeders and Fattening Association who represented the Producers, and a representative from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Finance.
He added that the overall objective of the national step down sensitization workshop was to strengthen the National SPS committees as well as to build national capacity on the use of science-based arguments in setting standards.
In his opening remarks on the occasion, on behalf of the director general of the Department of Agriculture, NaNA Executive Director Pa Modou Phaal said The Gambia government recognises the important role of AU IBAR in the development of the Animal Resources sector in
Other speakers on the occasion included the secretary to the National Codex Sanitary and Phyto-sanitary Steering Committee Malamin Fofana.
It was gratifying to note that in The Gambia, the National Codex and the National SPS committees are combined to ensure the NCC function well, Mr Fofana, said, adding that they had included most of the stakeholders in food safety, animal and plant health in the country to ensure more proficiency in the conduct of their duties.