CASTRIES St Lucia -- The first ever training programme in pest risk analysis or PRA for Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Quarantine Officers concluded on Thursday August 28 with a field trip.
OECS Agriculture Economist George Alcee
Over 20 experts, including plant protection officers as well as lab technicians, toured a few facilities in Saint Lucia and were exposed to hands on experiences to enhance their work in reducing the impact of pest on imported and exported produce.
Quarantine officers from across the OECS spent the week looking at basic principles and concepts in pest risk analysis as the region shapes its agenda for addressing the impact of pests on the agriculture sector and economy as a whole.
Training of regional quarantine and plant protection experts from across the region in pest risk analysis included the identification and categorizing of pests as well as understanding how to follow their path and developing the best possible control mechanism towards reducing the impact of pests on the region’s agriculture sector and economies as a whole.
During Thursday’s outdoor experience, participants were observers at a pest research laboratory, a major supermarket chain’s produce department and also learnt about customs procedures on imported and exported produce at the island’s ports.
George Alcee, the OECS Commission’s agriculture economist, said following the theoretical and practical exercises the quarantine experts have now been assigned to develop a national pest risk analysis for their respective OECS member state by October 31.
The OECS Commission and the Chilean government with the support of the 10th EDF funded the pest risk assessment training programme.