Khammuan rice mills aim for good manufacturing practice standards

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN) - Khammuan province is encouraging rice millers and entrepreneurs in the staple grain to upgrade production to meet Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) standards. 

There are over 140 rice mills in the province including some small rice mills, Khammuan provincial Industry and Commerce Department director Mr Thongxay Mangnomek told Vientiane Times recently.

Just one rice mill to date has been awarded GMP by the department to date.

“Meanwhile, others - some five rice mills - are in the process of acquiring practices recommended by our department and related sectors,” he said.

At least one or two of these candidates are expected to achieve this standard in the 2019-2020 fiscal year.

Of the more than 3,000 tonnes of rice produced in Khammuan province, some are traded domestically to Vientiane and other provinces in southern Laos.

“Some rice was also exported to Vietnam and Europe, so we try hard to encourage these rice entrepreneurs to meet the GMP standard to extend their penetration in these overseas markets, Mr Thongxay said.

“We are trying to encourage all rice entrepreneurs in our province to improve their products and sales to meet the GMP standards.

“However, this also depends on their financial capacity to invest. They may have to buy new machines or invest to upgrade their facilities as well as impart training to workers,” he noted.

Besides rice, Khammuan province also exports cassava powder to Vietnam and China - over 1,000 tonnes each year – with the export amount determined via annual contracts.

Khammuan province has started introducing entrepreneurs to the new guidelines recommended by the Department of Industry and Commerce which control the authorisation and licensing of manufacturing and sales.

These guidelines list minimum requirements that a manufacturer must meet to assure that their products are consistently high in quality, batch after batch, for the intended use.

The primary purpose of the GMP is to prevent harm from occurring to the end user.

Additional tenets include ensuring the end product is free from contamination, that it is consistent in its manufacture, that its production has been well-documented, that personnel are well-trained, and the product has been checked for quality more than just at the end phase.

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