By: Agriculture Communications Unit
On 24th and 25th October 2019, the Ministry of Agriculture through crop protection unit organized two days stakeholders' workshop on phytosanitary certification standards.
Calling the workshop to order, Miss Raymonda Johnson, Head of Crop Protection explained that the workshop had been organized to bring on-board various stakeholders to review the phytosanitary documents for export and import of Agricultural produce in relation to International Plant Protection Convention standards which had already be set.
Exporters should understand that phytosanitary standards start directly from farm however, the country cannot meet the international standard because of quality of goods we produce she asserted.
She admitted that most of the disease are imported through material as a result of outdated phytosanitary certification. Deforestation is egregious to the enable environment hence United Nation has advised to minimize the use of paper. This has led to the introduction of electronic phytosanitary certification which will be available in Sierra Leone next year. She added that the introduction of coding and sealing goods is to handle exporter that will tend to fraudulent the legal process.
Recruiting and capacitating of phytosanitary staffs are key in achieving the goals of the documents therefore the ministry should put measures in order to recruit man power to do the right job at the right time, Abdul Karim Deen phytosanitary inspector Queen ii Elizabeth assured.
ACTIONS POINTS ON THE FIRST DAY
1. Export and Out growers' registration Template
2. Export and Import certificate and phytosanitary permits
3. Declaration application form seed permit and detention receipt
4. Wood and packaging treatment application and permit
5. Agro Chemical application permits soil and media permit
6. Inspection and sampling manual template for Agriculture template.
Speaking on the second day of the workshop, Miss. Raymonda Johnson applauded stakeholders for their brilliant ideas in reviewing the National Plant Protection Organization phytosanitary certification documents. Adding that second day is to brainstorm and alert stakeholders on the Phytosanitary Certification Evaluation (PCE).
PCE has thirteen modules which as NPPO actors and key partners are expected to brainstorm and react on them with a minimum of two years. Sierra Leone is among the few countries that has been opportune to conduct PCE as a result, exportation of quality goods depend on phytosanitary standards she said.
She commended that ministry is so passionate to evaluate Agriculture using the best practices as sustainable agriculture and exportation boost the country's GDP, foreign exchange and economy development hence, NPPO actors should stand firm in implementing the security features as it enhance sustainable agriculture and the exportation of quality goods.
At the end of the workshop, positive compromises were made between NPPO and key actors in strengthening and sensitizing the exporters on the implementation of electronic phytosanitary certification and evaluation documents.