Trade

Export ban for Sigatoka farmers supplying okra and long bean

The Biosecurity Authority of Fiji (BAF) has temporarily suspended all farms in Sigatoka supplying of Thrips palmi as host commodities for exports to New Zealand. In a statement, BAF Executive Chairman Mr Xavier Khan said the host commodities for Thrips palmi namely Okra (Bhindi), Long bean and Amaranthus (Choraiya/Tubua) are not banned from export but […]

Peni Shute

August 25, 2016 3:52 pm

The Biosecurity Authority of Fiji (BAF) has temporarily suspended all farms in Sigatoka supplying of Thrips palmi as host commodities for exports to New Zealand.

Okra (Bhinidi) and Long bean.
Okra (Bhindi) and Long bean.

In a statement, BAF Executive Chairman Mr Xavier Khan said the host commodities for Thrips palmi namely Okra (Bhindi), Long bean and Amaranthus (Choraiya/Tubua) are not banned from export but the farms that have been identified to have high pest loads of Thrips palmi are under temporary suspension.

Mr Khan said a number of Okra Farms in Barotu, Rakiraki continue to supply Okra for the export market.

He said the authority has taken necessary actions to ensure that interceptions of Thrips palmi at international borders are reduced.

KHAN: “BAF endeavors nil interception as New Zealand border as is free of Thrips palmi and Fiji as a member of the World Trade Organization has to ensure that all Phytosanitary measures are taken to mitigate introduction of pests and diseases in the importing country whilst trading plant and plant products.”

Mr Khan said the insect, Thrips palmi is considered as a high impact pest which if established could lead to high level of economic consequences for New Zealand which could also lead to permanent suspension of Fiji’s export pathways to New Zealand.

KHAN: “Amaranthus export was suspended from 2012 however it has just been lifted last year thus it is very important for the pathway to be sustained as suspension will lead to significant impact on the livelihoods of Fijians and the Fijian economy.”

He said the suspension of a reputable exporter who was suspended for two weeks for breaching the conditions stipulated under the Bilateral Quarantine Agreement (BQA) with New Zealand’s Ministry of Primary Industries (NZMPI) has been withdrawn this week.

KHAN: “BAF warns all fresh produce exporters not to breach any export procedures or manipulate them as it can have severe impacts on the agricultural sector and trade.”

He said BAF has taken these proactive measures to prevent the transmission of pests exotic to New Zealand and to maintain Fiji’s existing pathway by implementing additional measures for the export of Thrips palmi host commodities to New Zealand.

KHAN: “BAF invites all stakeholders to diligently work together to reduce pest loads in the farms in order to comply with international import health standards. BAF also reiterates that the farms are only temporarily suspended while BAF is in consultation with NZMPI.”

What do you think? Leave a comment below.