X-RAY machines and dogs are part of Biosecurity Authority of Fijis plans as it modernises itself.
Chief executive Elvis Silvestrini, at the launch of the authoritys website at the Holiday Inn yesterday, said they were in the process of purchasing additional inbound baggage X-ray machines for Nadi International Airport and refurbishing laboratory facilities at Koronivia Post Entry Quarantine.
There were also plans to develop a canine unit for surveillance work but this will come at a later stage.
Its important to note that BAF is also responsible for facilitating agricultural trade for Fiji and we are working very closely with our exporters, the newly established Pacific Horticultural & Agricultural Market Access Program (PHAMA) and other relevant agencies to access new markets for our produce and ensure exporters comply with overseas market requirements to strengthen existing markets.
I am pleased to announce that in April, New Zealand agreed to improve conditions for pineapple exports from Fiji to New Zealand. Now exporters can resume exporting fresh Fiji pineapples to New Zealand.
BAF officials including participants from private sector will soon be accredited to the Australian Fumigation Accreditation Scheme (AFAS). In May, a team from AFAS was here in Fiji to conduct training for our officials. Being accredited will bring recognition of our biosecurity treatment (fumigation) and this is also consistent with our aim of ensuring BAF is respected as an effective and efficient biosecurity organisation in our region.
Last year, BAF held the Fiji-Australia Bilateral Quarantine meeting where a number of achievements in relation to the technical aspects of trade between Australia and Fiji were made.
This has assisted BAF to strengthen existing exports and discuss new ones such as fresh ginger, he said.
BAF is also working on strengthening alliances with relevant agencies and is in the process of developing MOUs with FRCA, Department of Agriculture, Fiji Ports Authority, AFL, Ministry of Health and the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji.