The Plant Protection Unit is creating a registry of all stakeholders as it seeks to improve its services and interaction with all those who handle plants or plant-based products.
Head of the unit, Dr. Janil Gore, said the registry is intended to create a database of those who operate in the sector which will allow the unit to improve its communication with these stakeholders.
This level of communication, Gore added, is critical in the prevention of and spread of pests.
“This is our first attempt to create this registry as we never had a database of individuals involved in the sector. This, we expect, will lead to better communications between the unit and those in the sector.
“Those involved can have their names registered in one of two ways: they can visit the office on Upper Corn Alley or they can register via the internet,” she explained.
Dr. Gore also outlines that a wide cross section of people and organisations are being encouraged to register.
“This goes out to anyone involved in the importation or exporting of plant items, and these include those handling lumber or wood,” she added.
With regard to lumber or wood used in construction, Dr. Gore explained that the unit has officers posted at the St. John’s Harbour who conduct inspection of wood products entering the country.
During these inspections, the officers ensure that the importer has the appropriate licence or permit and that the imported materials are treated and free of pests.
As part of their routine, officers from the unit visit plant nurseries to conduct similar inspections.
During these visits, the officers also assist the operators of the nurseries with technical and other advice.
The Plant Protection Unit says stakeholders include any person or entity involved in the handling of plants and plant products including, but not limited to:
Suppliers of agricultural & other inputs (e.g., seeds, plant
growth media and biological soil enhancement products, lumber, )
Customs brokers, freight forwarders & couriers
Cooperatives or groups
Importers, exporters & hucksters
Farmers, Florists & horticulturists
Landscapers & plant nurseries
those which import fresh produce & other plant items)