The Pesticides and Toxic Chemical Control Laboratory was re-commissioned on Thursday. The fully equipped, $320M facility, located at the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI) Compound, Mon Repos; will serve as a backbone to the inspection and certification of activities required to meet international standards.
In his opening remarks, the Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Noel Holder noted that a previous laboratory was constructed in 2008, but over the years, the need arose for a more modernized facility.
The minister remarked that the re-opening of the laboratory is a direct intervention to ensure food security for all, specifically, access to safe food.
“Our government is committed to creating an environment in which our citizens can be apprised of what they are purchasing and consuming from our local producers. The board will conduct countrywide market surveys to collect fresh produce and analyse samples for residue monitoring; the result will be available to highlight pesticides use in specific areas countrywide.”
Chairman of the Pesticides and Toxic Chemical Control Board, Dr. Leslie Monroe said the facility was rehabilitated to ensure an improved quality of service.
“The massive expansion was done to separate the two laboratories. So, there is the formulated and the residue laboratories, each of which has its own staff complement. We spent more than $85M on the building, more than $78M on the Liquid Chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS-MS), furnishing cost more than $33M, we had them procured and got them installed and there were other expenses such as training and outfitting the laboratory with the requisite equipment,” Dr. Monroe detailed.
He also noted that the board placed emphasis on quality results emanating from the lab. “So, over the years we would have exposed staff to training, either locally or overseas and we would have also have brought specialists here to Guyana.”
Earlier in the week, the Pesticides and Toxic Chemical Control Laboratory was certified at the national level by the Guyana National Bureau of Standards with measures in place to be ISO certified and accredited by 2020.