Plant Health

The Pacific’s fragile ecosystem is constantly at risk from invasive species, pests and diseases. It is therefore vital that sustainable and appropriate management practices are developed and utilized to ensure   sustained productive use of the land. Plant Health aims to promote these practices by utilizing its three main units, entomology, pathology and weeds in undertaking regular surveys of pests and diseases, providing information, creating awareness among farmers,  updating information databases and assisting in eradication activities. 

Training on Pesticide Risk Management
Wednesday, 29 June 2011 08:12

The Multilateral Environmental Agreement (MEA) Pacific Component Project have three programme components:Pesticide Regulation, Alternatives to Hazardous Pesticides and Communication and awareness raising on hazardous pesticides and alternatives. As part of the pesticide regulation component information exchange and capacity building/training is an activity earmarked for regulators to be trained on pesticide risk management (PRM). This program encompasses a Post Graduate Diploma in the University of Cape Town in South Africa.

The course, which was launched on 31st March 2011 in Cape Town, South Africa, brought together students from countries as diverse as Fiji and St Lucia in the Caribbean, as well as a wide range of African countries including, Botswana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique,South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The 18 students were officially welcomed to the campus where they remained for two weeks, before returning to their home countries to complete the coursework online, making use of the University's Vula distance learning platform system. This course will be conducted on-line for two years, commencing 2011-2012 before the participants return to sit for examination and eventually graduate. Whatever course work information learned will then be distributed to the country regulators for dissemination.

The Pacific is being represented by Fiji’s pesticide registrar, Mrs Losalini Leweniqila and Mr Fereti Atu of SPC LRD, both sponsored by FAO.  The FAO through the EC-funded project (Capacity Building related to Multilateral Environmental Agreements in Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries - clean up of obsolete pesticides, pesticide management and sustainable pest management) is the principal sponsor of the course development.

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Effective management can help maintain productivity of land resources,stregthen food security, safeguard the environment and increase revenue. Plant Health strives to improve awareness on environmental implications of agricultural practices and offering safer environmentally friendly options.