Nov 23, 2017 News
Guyana was once considered the “breadbasket” of the Caribbean. As the country aims to reclaim that title, the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI) is working to ensure when it reaches that stage, there are no obstacles.
Brian Sears, Chief Plant Protection Officer of the National Plant Protection Organisation (NPPO) said that the government has already placed much emphasis on farmers pushing agriculture forward and diversifying their produces.
Also, NAREI has been working with a number of agencies and farmers to enhance diversification— and, in the same breath, the NPPO is looking at methods to contain, control or eradicate pest.
On Tuesday, staffers from NPPO participated in a Regional Pest Prioritisation and Pest Risk Analysis Training hosted by the Caribbean Agricultural Health and Food Safety Agency (CAHFSA) at NAREI’s Mon Repos, East Coast Demerara (ECD)’s head office. The forum concluded today.
The staffers were trained in the use of the National Pest Prioritisation Tool and the Principles and Procedures for Pest Risk Analysis. The sessions were facilitated by Juliet Goldsmith, Plant Health Specialist of CAHFSA and Dr. Govind Seepersad, Agricultural Economist, University of the West Indies.
Mr. Sears told those attending that, “The workshop will go a long way to enhance our ability to export and may even assist in speeding up the exportation process, especially when we take into consideration the number of requests that we get for our local produce for export and requests for information to conduct pest risk analysis for importation in an area which I know we are limited.”
These training sessions are also being done in Antigua, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Suriname, Trinidad and Turks and Caicos.
To detect pests in the United States, the Department of Agriculture (USDA), Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPA) developed the New Pest Response Guidelines (NPRG) which were used in the training sessions to enhance Guyana’s pest prioritisation capabilities for early pest detection and for the implementation of rapid response for pest control.
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