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Robust Biosecurity, Quarantine Systems Critical For Sector

Robust Biosecurity, Quarantine Systems Critical For Sector
Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management and Meteorological Services Inia Seruiratu
June 30
11:00 2018

The importance of im­plementing robust bios­ecurity and quarantine systems in safeguarding criti­cal development sectors of the economy was highlighted to representatives and profes­sionals from Pacific plant bi­osecurity agencies and institu­tions.

Minister for Agriculture, Ru­ral and Maritime Development and National Disaster Manage­ment and Meteorological Ser­vices Inia Seruiratu reiterated the need to build capacity in the Pacific to address plant pest and disease issues.

He was addressing partici­pants at the Pacific Plant Biose­curity Capacity Building Work­shop this week at the Tanoa International Hotel in Nadi

“This is a very timely initia­tive by the Australian Govern­ment to introduce the Pacific Plant Biosecurity Capacity Building Programme as we em­bark on this great opportunity to collectively improve our biosecurity performance and capacity in areas that will be identified and improve supply chain compliance to meet bios­ecurity requirements of export markets.

Mr Seruiratu also highlighted that the initiative would ad­dress plant biosecurity impedi­ments to production and mar­ket access by enhancing value chains for selected commodi­ties and would improve food security and livelihoods across the region.

“Having a robust and effective biosecurity and quarantine system may be the most impor­tant measure in safeguarding our health, environment and agricultural sectors,” he said.

Mr Seruiratu used our local­ised example on embarking towards the modernisation of the agriculture sector, with the focus to increase Fiji’s non-sugar exports and mini­mise consumption of imported fruits and vegetables to reflect the importance of biosecurity systems.

“Fiji Agriculture Trade Sta­tistics reports that in 2017, Fiji earned $208million as export earnings for crops and live­stock, which is an increase of seven per cent as compared to 2016.”

Mr Seruiratu said Fiji’s top six exported commodities that relied heavily on an effective plant biosecurity strategy in the 2017 traded quantities were taro, cassava, fresh green gin­ger, eggplant, kava, and papa­ya.

Source: DEPTFO News

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