RTI shows Agmark Laboratory almost non-functional due to staff shortage
The reply to an application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act has revealed that the Central Agmark Laboratory (agricultural marketing), Nagpur which is responsible for certifying the quality of agricultural goods and formulating standards for them, might have been rendered almost non-functional due to paucity of staff. The reply to the application shows that several important posts in the laboratory have been vacant for years, including the posts of director and assistant director. The post of director is lying vacant since 2008.
Activists allege that due to lack of sufficient manpower, the laboratory is unable to conduct review tests on regular basis due to which many agricultural goods and products have been found to be inconsumable despite them having food certification from the Agmark laboratories. The activists claimed that the office of Agmark remains closed most of the times and doesn’t even have proper security facilities. They also said that the consumer policy, formulated in 2009, doesn’t include the laboratories under its ambit.