wanda Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has extended the deadline for premise licensing and food product registration to June 30 this year.
The monitoring regulatory body had in January set the deadline for the two activities on March 31.
In a statement released Tuesday, March 31, Rwanda FDA noted that the move is in line with the ongoing lockdown set by the Government so as to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rwanda so far has 75 confirmed COVID-19 cases, according to the Ministry of Health.
According to Rwanda FDA, 17 companies have registered 117 food products since January this year and got licensed.
Normally, for a company to start manufacturing, it must apply for premise licensing whereby the monitoring authority visits the site of production to see if the environment of production is in line with set mandatory requirements depending on what the company will be producing.
These include factors like hygiene among others.
Secondly, after producing a given product, a company registers its product by taking the sample of the product to Rwanda FDA which tests its quality before licensing it to be sold on the market.
In an interview, Gérard Sina, the founder of Urwibutso Enterprises, which mainly produces food products, welcomed this decision.
“I was glad that the deadline was extended. It would be unfair to go for registration and licensing when we are in lockdown amidst coronavirus,” he told The New Times.
Significance of this exercise
Speaking to The New Times, Dr. Charles Karangwa, the Director-General of Rwanda FDA noted that premise and product licensing is key in ensuring the safety of citizens’ health.
He said: “When we test and evaluate the quality of both the premise of production and the produced product, we intend to make sure that products that go on the market are worth it so as to avoid health consequences that can result from consuming unqualified products.”
In addition to this, Karangwa also noted that the exercise help in ensuring that the licensed products are not forged by other fake producers.