Sunday 27 September, 2020

'Pests' identified as a threat to food security

From left to right: Dennis Ramdeen, NAMDEVCO Chairman, Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries, Senator Avinash Singh and Wayne Di Chi, Agricultural Scientist of the United States Department of Agriculture – Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS)

From left to right: Dennis Ramdeen, NAMDEVCO Chairman, Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries, Senator Avinash Singh and Wayne Di Chi, Agricultural Scientist of the United States Department of Agriculture – Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS)

Pests and diseases pose a serious threat to the production of safe and secure food in Trinidad and Tobago and the wider Caribbean by extension.

The sentiment was expressed by Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries, Senator Avinash Singh, while speaking at the opening ceremony of NAMDEVCO’s Seminar on ‘Meeting of US Import Regulation for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables by Trinidad and Tobago Exporters’. 

Singh said pests pose a great challenge to the food production industry and noted that steps must be taken to address the problem.

‘Plant pests and diseases are amongst some of the major constraints to fruit and vegetable production in the Caribbean.  It is against this background that the development of locally adaptive, novel and sustainable strategies needs to be employed so as to meet and succeed both our local commitment to provide safe, diverse and viable opportunities within the agricultural sector, as well as our regional and international responsibilities and obligations to observe any legal or regulatory framework requisite for the conduct of robust trading relationships,’ he said.

The Seminar, hosted under NAMDEVCO's Farm to Table initiative, was held on Tuesday, June 13, at the Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards.

Also speaking at the event, NAMDEVCO Chairman Dennis Ramdeen sought to assure the attendees that the company will ‘continue to support the agro-entrepreneurial development of all our stakeholders along the value chain’.

He also stated that the initiative enhanced the development of policies in keeping with NAMDEVCO’s mandate to create, facilitate and maintain an environment conducive to the effective marketing of agricultural produce and food products.

One hundred and twenty attendees from Trinidad and Tobago, Dominica and the United States of America benefitted from the seminar which addressed the subject in detail, with presentations on ‘Export Requirements and Procedures’; ‘Farm Certification and Monitoring Programme’; ‘Piarco Packinghouse Procedures’; ‘Plant Protection and Quarantine – Trinidad and Tobago’; ‘Inspection Procedures and Regulations for the Importation of Commodities into the United States of America’.

 

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