BAF: Seeds pose threat

Biosecurity Authority of Fiji CEO Hillary Kumwenda at the Fiji Revenue and Customs Service Private Sector Engagement Conference at the Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa in Nadi yesterday. Picture REINAL CHAND

THE Biosecurity Authority of Fiji (BAF) says online purchases of seeds are the biggest threat to Fiji’s biodiversity. BAF acting CEO Hillary Kumwenda said BAF officers were closely monitoring
entry points where items purchased online were brought into the country.

“A lot of things that have been regulated from BAF’s point of view — they find their way into the country through that channel,” he said.

“We are doing a lot of interceptions at the post office for BAF regulated articles, this is how we are trying to move with the way the world is moving, while maintaining the same high level of protection when it comes to biosecurity threats.”

When quizzed about the biggest threat to the country, Mr Kumwenda said it was the import of seeds.

“Seeds are one of the most high-risk commodities or pathway through which pests and diseases could actually be transmitted into Fiji.

“So that is why we are very strict with that particular product. We have overseas companies that are approved for trade in seeds. What we do is create awareness so that
stakeholders are aware where to source these.”

“The pathway is already approved and we trust the certification from the exporting country, in that way we are strengthening border security,” said Mr