The “Support for Pesticide Quality Control and Residue Monitoring in Armenia” project, in cooperation with the State Service of Food Safety (SSFS) of the RA Ministry of Agriculture and the Institute for the Control of Agrochemicals, Ministry of Agriculture of People’s Republic of China, organized a 20-day study tour for four participants from the “Republican Veterinary-Sanitary and Phytosanitary Center of Laboratory Services” SNCO of the RA SSFS as part of the efforts to launch the next phase of the specialised laboratory training courses implemented by FAO in Armenia.
In 2008, an Agricultural University of Athens project provided basic analytical equipment to the pesticide residue monitoring laboratory of the SNCO. Following the capital refurbishment of the Central Laboratory, the FAO project installed the new equipment, and the SNCO hired analytical chemists. Establishing a high-tech laboratory under local conditions is a demanding task requiring not only suitable laboratory premises and expensive equipment but also highly qualified staff. The availability of the staff for running the laboratory allowed the FAO project to start the specialized training programmes. The training inChinawas the fourth phase of that programme. The previous phases focused on theory and practice of modern analytical techniques, in particular the use of highly sophisticated equipment like the gas-chromatograph (GC) in pesticide residue analyses.
Ms. Heghine Gharibyan, one of the study tour participants, said: “The training was very effective and it will be a great input for our laboratory. I am sure that trainings of such kind offer powerful incentives with respect to exchanging knowledge and skills of specialists and increasing the quality and productivity of their work.”
The quality manager of the laboratory, Mr. Ashot Danielyan, who was also among the training participants, said: “The study tour enabled us to exchange our knowledge and skills with Chinese counterparts and bring back improved knowledge and experience to Armenia.”
The objectives of the study tour for the participants were to: experience first-hand a high level analytical laboratory in the field of pesticide residue; receive an on-the-job training at a fully operational internationally accredited laboratory; and deepen their theoretical and practical skills in ensuring accurate and proficient performance of pesticide residue analysis.
Following the study tour FAO continues providing trainings to the laboratory specialists and developing their capacity related to identifying and analyzing pesticide residues in food.