In an effort to maintain Grenada’s export viability in Soursop, emphasis on surveillance methods for two insect pests lethal to Grenada’s soursop industry has been emphasised by an expert from the Caribbean Agriculture Health and Food Safety Agency (CAHFSA).
Plant health specialist with CAHFSA, Juliet Goldsmith, was in Grenada facilitating a four-day workshop on proper monitoring and surveillance of the Annona Seed Wasp and Soursop Fruit Borer, from 4-7 November 2019. The workshop is part of a bigger Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) project, aimed at improving the value chain of soursop in Grenada.
Pest Management Officers and Technical Officers of the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands were exposed to phytosanitary surveillance, border control inspection and post-border monitoring and surveillance as necessary mechanisms in detecting the targeted pests and to ensure that officers are competent in the surveying.
“Grenada currently is the only country in the Caribbean region that is authorised to export fresh soursop to the US, and so we want to maintain that market. Part of that process is to make sure that those organisms that are not only important to Grenada but also to the US, are kept out. It is based on the absence of those two organisms from Grenada, that the export of fresh soursop is allowed,” said Goldsmith. “It is about making sure that Grenada knows how to identify and how to detect those organisms, so as to maintain this market,” she added.
Pest Management Officer, Thaddeus Peters, said this information is of extreme importance to the job of pest management officers. He said, “It is important that we focus on surveillance for those two pests and have more eyes out there, in case there is an introduction or any incursion of those pests. So, we are trying to empower some of the frontline officers, as to what to look for with regard to the Soursop Wasp and Fruit Moth.”
Following the workshop, there will be continuous surveillance in selected fields to ensure that the named pests are not on island.
Ministry of Agriculture