The mission of the Crop Protection Sub-Division is to protect Trinidad and Tobago’s biodiversity from invasive alien species and pest of quarantine and economic importance whilst facilitating trade in agricultural plant commodities. This is accomplished in three main ways:

  1. Preventing pests and diseases entering the country,
  2. Developing protocols for the eradication/management of pests and diseases
  3. Providing diagnostic, training and advisory services to farmers and other members of the public in the area of crop protection.

To accomplish this mandate, the Sub-Division is divided into six units:

  1. The Pest Risk Analysis Unit - This unit isconcerned with preventing pest and disease from entering the country through the conduct of risk analyses.
  2. The Plant Quarantine Service - This unit is concerned with the preventing pest and disease from entering the country through regulating imports/exports of plant products.
  3. The Surveillance Unit - This unit is responsible for surveillance/monitoring activities within Trinidad and Tobago for pest of plant quarantine/economic importance and invasive alien species.
  4. The Entomology Unit - This unit conducts research, diagnostic services and training in the field of Entomology (insect, arachnid, snail pests). It contains the Entomology Diagnostic Laboratory, Natural Enemy Rearing Laboratory and Entomology Museum.
  5. The Plant Pathology Unit - This unit conducts research, diagnostic services and training in the field of Plant Pathology (nematodes, fungi, bacteria, viruses, mycoplasma and mycoplasma like organisms). It contains the Plant Pathology Diagnostic Laboratory.
  6. TheWTO SPS Enquiry Point Unit - This unit is Trinidad and Tobago’s e-windowforenquiries about agricultural health and food safety requirements/legislation and such changes that can affect trade. It also serves as the international sanitary and phytosanitary portal in accord with the International Plant Protection Convention.

Current Programmes of the Crop Protection Sub-Division:

  1. Research/Management:
    1. Eradicate Achatina fulica, the giant African snail in Trinidad and declare Trinidad free of giant African snail.
    2. Develop an integrated pest management protocol for red palm mite.
    3. Develop an integrated pest management protocol for coconut palm weevil and red ring disease.
    4. Map the presence and distribution of the sweet potato weevil, Euscepes postfasciatus to inform on its management.
    5. Develop an integrated pest management protocol for the sweet potato stem borer, Megastes grandalis.
    6. Develop an integrated pest management protocol for black Sigatoka disease in Musa.
    7. Identify pest of palms and their natural enemies occurring in the Nariva Swamp to inform on its management
    8. Map the presence and distribution of bacterial fruit blotch, Acidovorax sp on watermelon to inform on its management.
  1. Regulatory/Legal
    1. Update Regulated Pest List (pest absent) for Trinidad and Tobago.
    2. Develop a national pest list (pest present) for Trinidad and Tobago.
    3. Conduct pest risk analysis to safeguard TT biodiversity by preventing the introduction and spread of pests (invasive alien species) into Trinidad and Tobago.
    4. Provide Plant Quarantine Service - Regulate trade through the issuance of import permits and provide an inspection service to safeguard TT biodiversity by preventing the introduction and spread of pests (invasive alien species) into Trinidad and Tobago and facilitate exports by ensuring conditions of importing country are met.
    5. Monitor for  fruit flies of quarantine importance (Medfly, Oriental, Mexican, Caribbean and newly introducedHexachaeta amabilis (host Artocarpus))
    6. Monitor pest of quarantine importance – red palm weevil.
    7. Monitor for pest of quarantine importance - frosty pod rot in cocoa.
    8. Monitor for pest of quarantine importance - the sweet potato weevil, Cylas formicarius.
    9. Monitor pest of quarantine importance - the papaya mealybug.
    10. Operate an Enquiry Point to increase transparency in trade.
    11. Certify farms to encourage the continuation of trade in fresh produce from Trinidad and Tobago.
    12. Certify wood packaging agents under ISPM # 15 so that wood packaging material does not introduce exotic or invasive pests into a country.
    13. Assess duty free concessions of pesticides to facilitate the production of safer food and reduce the cost of its production.
  2. Services
    1. Plant pest diagnosis
    2. Plant disease diagnosis