Netherlands committed $1m to boost the capacity of Rwanda Bureau of Standards (RBS) in ensuring safety in food products.
The funding is expected to improve RBS’s micro-biology research department, and mainly to conduct collaborative research, develop post-harvest and mechanisation standards and train technical staff over the next three years.
Dr. Mark Cyubahiro Bagabe, the RBS Director General, recently said that the body would develop more standards, provide technical assistance to stakeholders and work with enforcers in the food sector as part of the strategies to reduce contamination in processed food by 80 per cent by 2018.
Wycliffe Kagisha, the standards body organic chemistry lead officer, said capacity building is vital as it helps equip staff with skills to develop better standards and reduce food wastage.
The standards body recently closed down two milk processing plants for producing contaminated yoghurt.
“It’s essential to invest in human capacity development because of the change of technology and constant review of the existing standards, as well as development of new ones, “added.
Antoine Mukunzi, the RBS project co-ordinator, said about Rwf200m will be invested in collaborative research about micro-biological risks in vegetables and food processing, Rwf55.5m will be for post-harvest and mechanisation research and Rwf17m will be used for training staff, among others.