NATION

BAF Unveils New Fleet In Bid To Boost Services

The Biosecurity Authority of Fiji (BAF) unveiled 26 new vehicles as part of their 47 vehicle fleet upgrade on Tuesday. BAF chief executive officer Hillary Kumwenda, in his address at
30 Aug 2018 10:00
BAF Unveils New Fleet In Bid To Boost Services
Biosecurity Authority of Fiji chief executive officer Hillary Kumwenda (right), receives the vehicle handover from ASCO Motors chief executive officer Craig Sims. Photo: Biosecurity Authority of Fiji

The Biosecurity Authority of Fiji (BAF) unveiled 26 new vehicles as part of their 47 vehicle fleet upgrade on Tuesday.

BAF chief executive officer Hillary Kumwenda, in his address at the unveiling ceremony at Asco Motors Nabua, said that the upgrade is a significant step to improve the delivery of essential biosecurity services for all Fijians and get even more closer to working with BAF’s key stakeholders.

Mr Kumwenda also said that the fleet improvement underscored BAF’s commitment to their mandate – to protect Fiji from the entry and establishment of exotic plant and animal pests and diseases.

He said it also contributes to their vision to be respected as the most effective and efficient biosecurity authority in the region.

He also said that the new BAF fleet would contribute towards the Government’s initiative to enhance biosecurity services to support its development agenda, especially for the agriculture sector and protection of Fiji’s environment and general biodiversity.

The vehicles would also significantly assist with the many projects BAF is undertaking with international organisations such as New Zealand AID (NZAID), International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) which is assisting BAF in the eradication programme for fruit flies in Rotuma.

They are also exploring the possibility of introducing alternative phytosanitary measures to support our agricultural export growth, Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) under the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) umbrella.

“Such commitment at this high level requires good mobility – not just for our officers, but also for international scientists and experts that undertake scientific visits and missions to Fiji; where providing this may have been difficult in the past, this shall not be the case now,” Mr Kumwenda said.

Mr Kumwenda mentioned that additional vehicles are also expected to assist in the implementation of key programmes and improvements in BAF’s activities in the area of surveillance which is critical for reporting as part of Fiji’s national reporting obligations to the International Plant Protection Commission (IPPC) and World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) as well as for market access submissions with Fiji’s trading partners in plant and animal products.

“I also want to re-iterate that the new vehicles will ensure enhanced facilitation of local biosecurity needs and domestic quarantine such as those for Fruit Flies, Taro Beetle, Asian Subterranean Termite, American Foulbrood Disease and Giant Invasive Iguana.

“On that front, we will be able to better service the regions and areas that currently do not have vehicles like Taveuni, Nabouwalu and Levuka just to name a few,” Mr Kumwenda added.

BAF will enter into an agreement with ASCO Motors which will see that all vehicles will be tracked and receive the most apt after-sales services.

Source: Biosecurity Authority of Fijii

Feedback:  jyotib@fijisun.com.fj

 

 


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