The European Union has donated a mobile food testing van to the Department of Food Technology and Quality Control (DFTQC), Nepal Government, under the EC-Nepal WTO Assistance Programme, which is a major step to safeguard the health of Kathmandu locals.
The donation of the van is part of the EC-Nepal WTO Assistance Programme which constituted an EU support of EUR 2 million (NPR approx 228 million).
The programme that concluded a year ago in 2011 also received the support of UNIDO (170,000 Euros) and UNESCAP (27,000 Euros) while the Nepal Government's contribution in kinds amounted to (114,000 Euros).
The main goal of the programme was to address Nepal's trade related obligations following its accession to the World Trade Organization in April 2004.
"The project has come a long way and has contributed substantially to assist mainly two departments of the Nepal Government – Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology (NBSM) and Department of Food Technology and Quality Control (DFTQC) – to upgrade the skills of their technical staff with training programmes and their existing laboratories for acquiring international accreditation and thereby raising hopes for increased exports for Nepal in the years ahead," said Dr. Alexander Spachis, ambassador, Head of European Union Delegation to Nepal.
He said that all the DFTQC testing laboratories have already received international accreditation for 26 different parameters related to food testing and quality control from the India based National Accreditation Board for Laboratories while the NBSM laboratories are in the process of getting the accreditations.
Some of the major achievements of the projects are: upgrading of the laboratories of the two departments, addition of more equipments and skilled manpower leading to better prospects of finding an expanded market for Nepal's exports abroad.
"The DFTQC is indeed very thankful to the European Union for extending its support, which has helped us get international accreditation for our laboratories. This, I am, confident will help promote Nepal's exports in the international market and have a positive impact on the country's economy in the long run," said the DFTQC Director General Jiwan Prabha Lama.