by Ndwakhulu Mukhufhi

Foreword

Creating measurement solutions that matter

Mr_Ndwakhulu_Mukhufhi2.jpg

Africa as a continent is currently experiencing a globally unparalleled growth trajectory. This growth is both economic and population based, with UN Growth Projections estimating that the African population will double by 2050, to an estimated 2.4 billion people.To sustain a larger population Africa will have to increase its agricultural output in the face of extreme climate change, making the burden of food safety and food security even greater.

Recently there has been a greater demand for agricultural goods within the African market. This is not only due to growing population and economies, but through the growth of alternative markets and active marketing campaigns within Africa. Further growth is anticipated through the Continental Free Trade agreement, and with this an extra dimension to the complexity of unified analytical testing protocols and a well-established quality infrastructure.

The value of agricultural products is linked to the quality and safety of the product, which is established through measurements conducted by food testing laboratories. Similarly, for food producers to consider trade to be fair and benefit from it, measurements taken in different parts of the world need to be equivalent and mutually accepted. Important decisions, both economical and safety related, are based on these measurement results.

The National Metrology Institute of South Africa (NMISA) is an entity forming part of the South African technical (quality) infrastructure under the department of trade and industry (the dti), together with the National regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS), the South African National Accreditation System (SANAS) and the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS). We exist to support South African testing and calibration laboratories in their quest to deliver internationally accepted and competitive measurement results.

NMISA is committed to support measurements in agricultural food production, through the provision of fit-for-purpose Africa relevant measurement solutions. In the field of pesticide residue testing, NMISA has developed customised proficiency tests that reflect local pesticide use on seasonal crops. These testing schemes enable laboratories to continuously assess the accuracy of their measurement results, which consequently provides the food producer with the required product quality assurance. (Read more about this service on page 32.)

Through NMISA’s recently established reference materials production facility, food safety reference materials for mycotoxin and pesticide residue testing can now be produced locally, empowering analytical testing laboratories with the measurement tools required to not only ensure reliability of measurement results produced, but also to sustain the measurement capability established on the continent.

Ndwakhulu Mukhufhi, CEO,

National Metrology Institute of South Africa CEO

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