The Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Luanar) has partnered the Texas A & M University of the United States to implement a programme that will champion matters of food safety and adherence to standards by companies.
Luanar-NRC campus College Director Moses Chinyama said during an engagement meeting in Lilongwe that the institution is building capacity for testing Aflatoxins and Mycotoxins in food, especially grains.
This, he said, is in an effort to ensure that people consume food which is safe through risk management.
“This is a very important undertaking for us as an institution because we would want to fill the gap in Malawi where there is a need to certify that our grains are safe for consumption,” Chinyama said.
He said through the Aflatoxin Proficiency Testing and Control in Africa (Apteca) program they would like to build product confidence of companies.
Chinyama said with their McGovern Dole Laboratory, they are committed to champion a shared governance approach (co-regulation) to managing Aflatoxin risk through accurate testing.
“We have a laboratory that specialises in Aflatoxins. We would want to play the verification role. When these private organisations do their own testing we need to verify so that we build the confidence of these products,” he added.
Director of A & M Timothy Herrman said co-regulation is the way to go to deliver safer food at lower cost.
He said there is need for trust among actors in the food chain and allowing market sources to play a role in the regulation of food safety.
“With the Apteca programme we would like to ensure that there is compliance among companies by producing products that are conforming to standards,” he said.
Director of Industry in the Ministry of Trade and Industry Clement Phangaphanga said through promotion of quality infrastructure for the Malawi Bureau of Standards government is committed to ensuring food safety adding the program will enhance ownership of regulatory efforts among players.