MAFI plans to set up one-stop quarantine centre

by BERNAMA

THE Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industries (MAFI) is studying proposals to set up a one-stop quarantine centre (OSQC) to further empower and enhance the biosecurity and safety aspects of the country’s food supply.

Its minister Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee (picture) said the proposed setting up of the OSQC is in view of the risk of diseases or pests being brought in via trade, adding that the OSQC, which would meet international standards, would be studied for development at the country’s gateways.

He said this is to ensure every agro-food trade undergoes a comprehensive inspection and quarantine process at the country’s gateways before they are imported or exported.

Generally, he said, the proposed OSQC would have five functions, namely virus/microorganism detection, disinfection process, quarantine centre, quarantine certification and prevention of illegal activities.

“Currently, the country does not have an OSQC that is equipped with the latest technology at every gateway to ensure comprehensive inspections are carried out,” he said in a statement yesterday.

“Apart from the development of infrastructure and facility, this project also involves the proposed development of a separate information technology system to help in the traceability and automation processes that will be used.”

The statement also said that Ronald had handed over 54 tonnes of frozen meat products illegally imported from various countries worth RM1.5 million to eight departments and agencies.

The frozen food products, which were handed over at Port Klang yesterday, were confiscated items by the Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services that were forfeited in cases from February to April.

He handed over the frozen food products to representatives under the Department of Wildlife and National Parks including the Taiping Zoo in Perak, Melaka Zoo, Lost World of Tambun in Perak, Perak National Wildlife Rescue Centre, as well as Penor Prison in Pahang, Pengkalan Chepa Prison in Kelantan and Marang Prison in Terengganu.