UN-backed initiative calls for well-guided pesticide use in Egyptian exports

A UN-backed initiative has called for intensified training on the use of pesticides in Egyptian agricultural activities so as to meet safety and quality standards of importer markets.
Further technical support and enhanced training is needed to meet quality standards and to reduce economic losses caused by pesticide residues in some Egyptian exports shunned by importing countries, said Mahmoud Basyouny, director of the UNIDO-sponsored Green Trade Initiative during a conference entitled “Agricultural Crops and Pesticides Residues… The effect and challenge,” which was organized by the Agriculture Export Council on Tuesday in collaboration with the Agriculture Ministry’s central laboratory for analyzing pesticide residues and UNIDO.
The initiative is being carried out within the bilateral agreement of the Italian Egyptian Debt for Development Swap Program with participation of UNIDO. Its funding is estimated at LE54.9 million.
Ashraf al-Marsafy, head of the central laboratory, said he was following up on the effects of pesticides as well as providing analysis services and researches to guarantee safety of the pesticides and spread its proper usage to enhance quality of the local production as well as increase Egyptian exported produces.
Egypt’s exports of agricultural produce reached around three million tons with financial value of US$2.2 billion in 2014, according to Marsafy.
The initiative was first started by the UNIDO in 2014 with funds from Italian government in partnership with ministries of trade and industry, investment, agriculture and transportation to enhance Egypt’s role in exporting horticultural crops to Europe via Italy.
The project is being carried out in coordination with several Egyptian authorities including Agriculture Export Council, Agricultural Quarantine Central Department, Agricultural Processing and Crops Technology Center, General Organization for Export and Import Control, Egyptian Organization for Standardization and Quality and the Food Safety Authority.

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