Plans afoot to bring accredited food testing to rural South Africa through mobile laboratories
The CSIR is collaborating with Mobile Agricultural Skills and Development Training (MASDT), a non-profit company that assists small and medium enterprises in the agricultural sector, to introduce an accessible and affordable mobile food safety testing facility for commercial and small rural farmers in the South African rural agro sector.
“Many farmers (commercial and small-scale) in South Africa’s rural areas battle with access to food safety testing facilities for their farm produce. This is mainly because they are located far from laboratories and the transport of samples to these laboratories are challenging. The process of handling and transporting samples also compromises the quality of the samples. This challenge results in the farmers losing out on lucrative export opportunities because they cannot provide the required food safety proofs required by rest of the supply chain,” says Inocent Makuwaza, Acting CEO of MASDT.
UNIDO in cooperation with Japan provide PPE to waste reclaimers
The COVID19 pandemic has greatly affected the activities of waste reclaimers. Under the level 5 lockdown regulations, their daily earnings were impacted by the restriction of movement. Since the lifting of these restrictions, they have been risking their lives and safety as the pandemic continues to generate new types of hazardous infectious waste that could be contaminated by the virus.
Simon Mbata, a leader of a waste reclaimers group at the pilot integration site at Vaalpark under SAWPA, explained that many waste workers could not afford PPE and could therefore not go back to work. “We are not employed and are not provided with PPE by any specific party,” he explained.