AP Govt commissions lab for ryots for WTO tests

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Hyderabad, Aug 5 (UNI) The Andhra Pradesh Government today commissioned a Rs 4.80 crore Food Analytical and Quality Control Laboratory,funded by the Centre, under public-private-partnership to prepare farmers for exports under the WTO Regime.

Pointing out to the country suffering a loss of Rs 35,000 crore due to lack of adequate food processing facilities, Central Food Processing Joint Secretary K Rajeswara Rao said 70 such laboratories were set up in different part of the country 'to unleash the full potential of the food processing industry in the country bestowed with 15 agro-climatic zones.' State Agriculture Minister N Raguveera Reddy said the Rs 4.80 crore facility provided convenient and cost effective testing means for all types of foods and animal feeds, processed food and allied agricultural items to benefit farmers, small and medium food processing industries and exporters.

''Farmers are provided a special rebate of 20 per cent on listed charges for their samples for testing'', he said.

Such laboratories would also be set up shortly in various market yards in the State for the benefit of farmers, he said, urging non-governmental organisations and Women Self Help Groups to come forward to run them.

The Centre had sanctioned setting up an irradiation centre near the new international airport and the facility would be commissioned soon, he informed.

In the second phase, the laboratory would be upgraded with Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometer, Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometer, Inductively Coupled Plasma Spectrometer to enable pesticide residue testing up to parts per billion(PPB) level, an essential requirement for export of fruits and vegetables to western markets, he added.

UNI SM GM RL VC1633

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