NSI and FAO sign MoU on technical cooperation

WINDHOEK; The Namibian Standards’ Institution (NSI) and the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on technical cooperation on Thursday in the capital.

The memorandum seeks to further the Namibian Government’s national development goals through strategic partnerships for the benefit of the country.

The MoU will, amongst others, cover the updating of the status of Namibian food safety legislation as well as the development of national labelling regulations which are consistent with Codex guidelines, and which also meet national needs.

“The NSI will continue to adopt international standards not least those of the FAO and the World Health Organisation (WHO) Codex Alimentarius Commission as Namibian standards,” said NSI Chief Executive Officer, Riundja Ali Kaakunga during the signing ceremony at a local hotel.

The Codex Alimentarius Commission is the most representative international forum for the development and harmonisation of world-wide food standards, designed with the view to protect consumers’ health and safety and ensuring fair practices in international trade.

The FAO Namibian representative Dr Babagana Ahmadu said they have decided to support the Namibian Government after such a request from them.

“The FAO is now preparing to support Namibia in the finalisation of legal instruments related to national food safety systems and adherence to international standards. We remain fully committed to working with the Namibian authority to achieve these objectives for the benefit of the Namibian population,” he said.

The MoU will cover technical support for the effective implementation of the GlobalGap Certification Scheme for the horticulture industry, strengthening institutional and staff capacity in the fields of shellfish inspection, as well as strengthening operations of the NSI laboratory.

GlobalGap is the world’s leading farm-assurance programme, which translates consumer requirements into good agricultural practices.