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Pacific Island Representatives attend USDA Course on Plant Health

03rd January, 2017

The two-week course was held from the 5-10 June  in Raleigh , Northern Carolina and 13-17 June in Riverdale, Maryland

The PHSA course is usually offered annually by USDA APHIS, with the purpose of bringing together participants from around the world, to train them on the Plant Health systems used to protect and safeguard US agriculture and natural resources from pest entry, establishment and spread. It also serves to bring together participants to learn how to facilitate potential trade deals with US.

Delegates from around the globe attended classroom presentations and took part in site visits to Plant Protection and Quarantine institutions and facilities. The course not only gave participants the opportunity to listen and learn from USDA APHIS presenters, but also to exchange knowledge on their own plant protection and quarantine systems.

Pacific Island participants were selected by the USDA APHIS office in Hawaii, which reviewed applicants from across Pacific Plant Protection Organisation (PPPO) member countries and territories. The final delegation  included Mr. Matio Lonalona, Quarantine Officer from Tuvalu, Ms. Ano Seumalii, Quarantine Officer from Samoa, Ms. Lanor Puainia, Quarantine Officer from American Samoa, Mr. Jai Ram, Entomologist for Biosecurity Authority of Fiji, and Dr Maclean Vaqalo, SPC Entomologist.

The course was also attended by representatives from Argentina, Brasil, Belize, Cambodia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Malawi, Mauritius, Morocco, Panama, Paraguay, Serbia, South Africa, Ukraine and the Unites States.

The PHSA course will likely take place again next year at the same venues. Members of PICTs wishing to attend are encouraged to apply to the PHSA Course organizing committee as soon as the call for entry opens. All applications must go through the USDA APHIS representative to the PPPO.

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