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NAMBOARD’S ENCABENI PACKHOUSE ISO ACCREDITED

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MANZINI - National Agricultural Marketing Board (NAMBoard) has implemented ISO 22000:2018 Food Safety Management System for the Encabeni vegetables packhouse facility.

ISO 22000 is an internationally recognised standard that combines the ISO 9001 approach to food safety management and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) for the assurance of food safety at all levels. The standard maps out how an organisation can demonstrate its ability to control safety hazards to ensure that food is safe. Certification was granted by British Standards Institution (BSI) after NAMBoard had successfully implemented ISO 22000:2018 Food Safety System requirements. This means NAMBoard improved control over food safety activities, customer statutory and regulatory compliance, facilitated market growth, improved risk management, increased customer stakeholder and consumer confidence as well as integration with other ISO management systems.

Agriculture

The agricultural Board also received assistance from USAID Trade Hub, which covered 60 per cent of the total cost of certification through development alternatives initiative. NAMBoard Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Bhekizwe Maziya yesterday said this recognition was reflective of the hard work, due diligence and the highest level of quality assurance maintained by their organisation. “Our vegetables packhouse initially implemented the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point prior to the implementation of ISO 22 000. This is also a food management system which has been used by NAMBoard over the years. “The ISO 22000 is a step closer towards FSSC 22 000, which is the preferred food safety management system as it has additional requirements that aligns with international national requirements,” added the CEO.

Practices

NAMBoard also possesses the Global (GAP) Good Agricultural Practices for the Encabeni demonstration plot. Maziya mentioned that the GAP standard was implemented to further provide assurance to their customers that NAMBoard conforms to good agricultural practices and it’s production processes are sustainable. Maziya  called upon all farmers to diversify to high value horticulture commodities for stability, sustainability and profitability in order to emulate the well-established sugar cane industry of Eswatini. Maziya said this approach was key to the success of the national goal of strengthening agricultural productivity, poverty alleviation, food security, employment creation and boosting export competitiveness.

Attract

He said efforts to attract the youth to enter the agri-business sector should be doubled by offering innovative and attractive opportunities to them. Some of the interventions he suggested included enhanced mechanisation, technology, value addition (processing, packaging) and infrastructure development. He further emphasised the adoption of climate-smart agriculture practices, including protected farming and water efficient irrigation systems, etc.

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