By Ahmed al Dhuhli -
MUSCAT — Mohamed Humaid al Mahdhori, head of the agricultural quarantine at Al Mawaleh market for vegetables and fruits, assured that the agricultural quarantine department in the market has taken measures to examine and inspect fruits and vegetables upon arrival where the number of shipments reached 472 with 944,000 tonnes in the first half of Ramadhan.
He said that the inspection of these shipments confirmed to be free of pests and agricultural diseases except for 3 tonnes of Kenyan mangoes that have been rejected.
Al Mahdhori urged all traders and importers to make sure that the shipments are free of pests and diseases stipulated by the law of agricultural quarantine. He stressed at the same time that all the shipments should be provided with all documents required either in Arabic or English.
The importer should put labels on the packages that show the type, weight and country of origin. Mohamed Humaid al Mahdhori (pictured) pointed out that the agricultural quarantine is to protect the country’s vegetation and crops against agricultural pests and prevent their entry into the country.
“The agricultural quarantine is regarded as a means of pest control to prevent significant damage to the country’s agricultural wealth and to block the entry of non-local insects or diseases. It also reduces the insects and diseases endemic in the country and contributes to the eradication of pests and facilitates the smooth movement of agricultural goods between the countries compatible with WTO requirements. The quarantine law governs all plants and all parts of the agricultural commodities that are free of manufacture or conversion processes,” he added.
The Inspection and Food Control Departments at Muscat Municipality has also implemented inspection visits to different food outlets recently.
The teams carried out inspection campaigns to foodstuff shops and supermarkets to check Ramadhan promotional offers and observe violations of health requirements.
The Health Departments at various municipalities too are carrying out continuous inspection campaigns during the month of Ramadhan which included restaurants, coffee shops and food establishments. The aim of the campaign is to make sure that all food outlets are abiding by the health standards stipulated by the Ministry of Health.
The government has also taken steps to maintain an abundant supplies of food items throughout the month to keep prices stable.