The Ministry of Agriculture in collaboration with other stakeholders conducted a ‘tabletop simulation exercise’ for Dominica’s agriculture as an emergency response to resolve plant health issues.
The participants included the Customs Department, extension services, the diagnostic capacities and partners such as The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and The Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI).
Head of plant protection and quarantine Services of the ministry of agriculture, Nelson Laville stated at the meeting the pest ‘Citrus canker’ was reviewed.
The exercise was held at the Public Service Union (PSU) Building on Wednesday May 11th , 2022.
Last week Dominica observed International Day of Plant Health on Thursday, May 12th, 2022. where a Plant Health Exposition was conducted.
“We know that Citrus is one of the priority crops for development and expansion in Dominica and previously we’ve been plagued with Citrus Tristeza and Citrus Greening. We cannot afford to have another pathogen or pest affecting our citrus,” he stated.
He said this can bring complications in restriction to trade, dropping economy, effects on the livelihoods of the farmers and on availability of the crop.
“Plant Health not only refers to agricultural crops but also refers to all plants; those that are used for landscape, Forest and those are grown for food,” Laville stated.
The stimulation exercise involved stakeholders whom he indicated are “important key players” in inactivating and executing an emergency response plan.
“This is really this is a cross-section of the grouping that is responsible for execution and emergency response plan in Dominica and of course a disease or pest can cause significant damage. The idea today is actually to get feedback on this plan from all stakeholders. As you know, an emergency response plan is always evolving and its dynamic based on conditions that exist, new situations and change of policy,” he said.
The Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) UNIT held a week- long series of activities to raise awareness of the importance of the day.
A Plant Health Exposition was also held on last week Thursday on International Day of Plant Health.