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Fiji Time: 12:11 AM on Tuesday 22 April

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Emergency plan for crops

Timoci Vula
Friday, May 25, 2012

A CROP emergency response plan is being drafted to counter any pests or diseases that may ravage crops grown locally.

The plan is being drafted by technical officers from the Department of Agriculture's research and extension divisions and the Biosecurity of Fiji (BAF) who are in Nataleira, Dawasamu in Tailevu as part of a retreat organised by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC).

Director for the Research Division Miliakere Nawaikula said the emergency response would ensure they were ready when a disaster strikes.

"We have had a lot of pests and diseases and one such disease is the taro leaf blight that we should seriously look into and make sure that a response is in place, especially knowing that Samoa had been ravaged by the disease and they lost their trade through that," Ms Nawaikula said.

"Dalo for Fiji is one of the main export commodities and having a response in place will hopefully counter whatever pests or diseases that may come to our shores," she said.

"Not only taro leaf blight but there is so many other pests and diseases that can ravage our agricultural industry," she added.

Ms Nawaikula said after the retreat, there would be a document in draft that would be presented to management as a crop emergency response plan.

She said the department already had a livestock emergency response plan in place for whatever pests and diseases that may affect the local livestock industry.