Improving Syria's phytosanitary system
To prevent the introduction of plant pests and meet international trade requirements
24 June 2004, Rome -- The phytosanitary system in Syria needs to be modernized to prevent the introduction of plant pests and meet the requirements of international trading partners, according to FAO.
Syria would need to update its sanitary and phytosanitary system to be able to participate fully in world trade while protecting its own resources, said Mahmoud Solh, Director of the FAO Plant Production and Protection Division.
FAO will work with the Syrian institutions to improve their national system for pest surveillance, inspection and certification of exported and imported plant and products, added Mr. Solh.
Syria's principal export crops are wheat, barley, cotton, chickpeas, tobacco, dried figs, dried apricots, broad beans and potatoes. Exports amounted to about 1.4 million tonnes in 2002.
The country's imports are mainly rice, citrus fruit, apples, corn, dates, timber, vegetables, coffee and tea. Imports in 2002 amounted to about 2.3 million tonnes.
In addition to the updating of the phytosanitary legislation, some 20 senior staff and 25 inspectors will be trained under the FAO project, with the aim of strengthening the technical capabilities in terms of critical equipment for inspection and pest detection at the priority ports of entry.
The project complements a food safety plan for "strengthening the national codex committee and updating, harmonizing foodstuff standards and regulations", Solh said.
Information Officer, FAO
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