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Okra, Long Bean, Amaranthus Export Gets A Green Light

The temporary suspension on all farms in Sigatoka for supply of Thrips palmi host commodities namely okra, long bean and amaranthus for export to New Zealand has been lifted. This
01 Oct 2016 08:06
Okra, Long Bean, Amaranthus Export Gets A Green Light

The temporary suspension on all farms in Sigatoka for supply of Thrips palmi host commodities namely okra, long bean and amaranthus for export to New Zealand has been lifted.

This was confirmed by the Biosecurity Authority of Fiji (BAF).

The host commodities for Thrips palmi were not banned from export but the farms that had been identified to have high pest loads of Thrips palmi during BAF audit of approved farms under the Non Bilateral Quarantine Agreements (Non-BQA) were under temporary suspension.

A number of Okra farms continued to supply Okra for export market resultant from ongoing Audit processes carried out by BAF.

The temporary suspension was lifted after a field survey report on Thrips palmi host commodities conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) extension and research in August revealed low level of Thrips palmi on amaranthus and okra.

Executive chairman, Xavier Khan said BAF and MoA are collaborating to enhance farm husbandry practices and pest management strategies to ensure that Fiji’s export of long bean, okra and amaranthus leaves to NZ is sustained and continues.

“BAF had to voluntarily temporarily suspend exports of Amaranthus leaves, long bean and okra from Sigatoka farms as a precautionary measure to safeguard the export pathway for these commodities,” he said.

“Sustaining the export pathway is paramount.

“Suspension of export markets has severe impacts on the livelihood of our farmers and their sources of income.”

BAF has revived the BQA Working Group to strengthen the collaboration between BAF and MoA.

This consists of technical officers of both organisations which meet at regular intervals to resolve issues faced by the fresh produce export sector.

Mr Khan said BAF in partnership with MoA will continue to monitor the field hygiene and pest load in the field to maintain the appropriate level of protection and to achieve the appropriate level of assurance and confidence with international trade partners.

He also urged all growers to implement good farm hygiene practices to ensure low pest infestation level in the field.

 

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