Agriculture Ministry provides Plant Quarantine training to staff
January 29, 2020:- Trinidad and Tobago, like any other country needs to be more self-sufficient when it comes to food and as such, the importation of plant-related pests and diseases undermines its ability to feed itself. These were the sentiments expressed by the Chief Technical Officer (Ag.) in the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries, Dr. Simone Titus, as she underscored the importance of a Plant Quarantine (PQ) Training Workshop which commenced on Wednesday 29th January, 2020, at the Ministry’s corporate headquarters in Chaguanas.
In her greetings at the commencement of the training, Dr. Titus highlighted both the need for teamwork within the discipline and the tremendous responsibility that came with safeguarding the overall health and well-being of the population at large. She also delivered remarks on behalf of the Permanent Secretary (Ag.), Ms. Susan Shurland, who said that the objective of the training was to expose staff to the basic principles and procedures of PQ in order to equip them to function as PQ Officers, should they be posted at any one of the nation’s ports of entry. The Permanent Secretary added, “The Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries, through its PQ Service, provides the first line of defence in preventing the entry of pests into Trinidad and Tobago (pest surveillance). It protects T&T’s borders from the invasion of pests and diseases by issuing of import permits; inspecting import/export cargo and baggage at ports of entry, seizing import/export cargo and baggage and executing post-entry inspections.”
The two-day, interactive workshop will end tomorrow (Thursday 30th January, 2020) and the twelve (12) participating members of staff will be exposed to various procedures including, plant inspection and the overall inspection of plants and plant products for export. The training modules will be facilitated by the Deputy Director, Research Division (Crops), Ms. Deanne Ramroop; Entomologists (Ag.) – Mr. Amel Baksh and Mr. Rishi Mohansingh; Plant Pathologists (Ag.) – Mr. Kishore Ragbir and Ms. Julia Parris and; Agricultural Officer I (Ag.), Ms. Betty-Ann Soo Hon.
Also speaking at today’s opening session were the: Director, Research Division (Ag.), Ms. Albada Beekham and Senior Human Resource Officer (Ag.), Ms. Claris Kowlessar.