The 2016 Annual Report of the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI) has highlighted the role of the National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO) in providing services designed to support exporters seeking to meet the phytosanitary import requirements of the country’s overseas trading partners and to “provide pest and related information” critical to facilitating trade relationships between Guyana and her various trading partners.
The quarantine service of the NPPO has responsibility for the regulation of agricultural and related commodities during the import and export processes and for the supervision of quarantine treatment of commodities in order to contain the movement of pests during the process of international trade.
According to the NAREI Annual Report, quarantine treatments administered at the various official ports of entry including airports, seaports and container terminals during 2016 succeeded in preventing the importation of exotic pests, including invasive plants and harmful insects and avert the spread and establishment of pest species from infested to non-infested areas within the country. The NAREI report says that on account of the carrying out of these functions the NPPO was successful in facilitating the safe export of agricultural and other regulated commodities.
According to the report, the successful execution of these functions were enabled through the agency’s granting of permits for the importation of regulated commodities, careful and diligent inspection and subsequent certification and clearance of plants, plant parts and other regulated items prior to export. During last year, the NPPO also conducted several ports of entry inspections and clearance of imported agricultural commodities, investigations associated with possible violations of plant protection laws and regulations and supervision of quarantine treatment of agricultural commodities.
The number of inspections of imported agricultural commodities increased to 2,114, a 26 per cent increase from the previous year, while export inspections dipped by 6% to 6,561.
The report says that during last year the NPPO inspected a total of 4,115 flights arriving in Guyana at the Cheddi Jagan and Eugene F Correia international airports to ensure the efficient disposal of international garbage. Meanwhile, a total of 1,392 ocean-going vessels were also inspected in order to ensure compliance with phytosanitary requirements for all vessels entering the country’s territorial waters.
The NAREI report also details the role of the NPPO in ensuring the safety of the country’s critical rice industry in pursuit of which it supervised 4,632 rice fumigation activities prior to the export of rice and rice products.
During last year the NPPO issued a total of 3,525 phytosanitary certificates, including 1,241 to the rice industry, 1,196 to the lumber industry, 423 to the fruit and vegetable industry and 132 to the sugar industry.
Other key aspects of the work of the NPPO during last year, according to the report, included collaboration with exporters in the treatment of commodities to prevent the movement of pests during trade and ongoing inspections at the various markets across the country and the attendant confiscation of goods imported into the country without the requisite permits, imports found to be pest-infested, unfit for human consumption, restricted or prohibited.
The NAREI report says the NPPO was also responsible for conducting several tests aimed at “determining the enterability for a number of agricultural commodities for sale on the local market” and also provided Mexico with pest risk data sheet to facilitate a pest risk analysis in order to determine whether Guyana’s rice met that country’s import requirements. According to the report, the analysis has since been completed and Guyana has been cleared to export paddy to Mexico.