Agriculture minister Dith Tina made several recommendations to a working group from the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) on the construction of high-calibre laboratory for inspecting the quality of animal products and livestock.

The laboratory is planned for Sitbou commune in Kandal province’s Takhmao town. KOICA will contribute to the establishment of the lab. Its primary objectives will be to ensure that animal products and livestock meet international standards, while ensuring food safety standards and preventing animal infectious diseases, as well as some human ones.

During the meeting Tina thanked KOICA for their contribution to the development of the Kingdom’s agriculture sector, particularly through the lab.

The minister suggested that KOICA conduct a feasibility study on the services, materials and tools, as well as human resources, that are needed to make sure the new national-level lab meets international standards.

“The laboratory will be situated in Sitbou commune, a good location, as it is isolated enough to minimize any unforeseen risks to the public. The central lab and those from the regions work together to ensure they provide efficient, effective service to the entire country,” he said.

“Ideally, the new facility will employ three separate buildings for administration, food safety services, and transmittable disease analysis,” he added.

He also supported the idea of a central lab, noting that teams from the various agriculture sub-sectors, such as animal, crops, and fisheries, should be congregated in one location.

“It is important that we collaborate and make sure the operating budget is used as effectively as possible to create a standardised laboratory. This is a bold new direction in the ministry’s food safety efforts,” he concluded.