Medical Expert Calls For Vaccination Rollout

Dr Kotapu made the call today when talking to the National Agriculture Quarantine Inspection Authority (NAQIA) staff on the importance of vaccination.

He clarified that about half of the population globally have already vaccinated and there is no excuse for Papua New Guineans not to be vaccinated.

“We cannot continue to believe conspiracy theories about the vaccines as people are dying every day of the coronavirus.

“People in developed countries are taking vaccines and we cannot just sit down and expect the Government to warn us every day on the coronavirus.”

Renovation Underway For NAQIA Labs

NAQIA’s National Animal Health & Food Testing Laboratory Facility in Kilakila will be renovated through the PHAMA Plus program funded by the Australian Government.

The improvements will help to increase the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) capability. This is a method widely used to rapidly make millions to billions of copies of a specific DNA sample, allowing scientists to take a very small sample of DNA and amplify it to a large enough amount to study in detail.

The improvements include infrastructure support services in electrical, mechanical and hydraulic.

NAQIA officers in Mendi

NAQIA Managing Director Joel Alu said the team left for Mendi last Wednesday.

Mr Alu confirmed that 15 animal officers from NAQIA are currently in Mendi, Southern Highland Province, to investigate and establish preventative measures to try to contain the outbreak of the African swine fever in the Highlands region.

The African swine fever outbreak was first reported on March 29, 2020.

However, Alu explained that the scientists delayed their travel to Mendi because of the lockdown period.

CIC await CBB sample results

General Manager Grower and Research Services, Dr Mark Kenny, told Loop PNG  that samples of the CBB pest were sent to the University of Florida almost two months ago.

He said they are yet to receive results from their international partner.

Dr Kenny added the National Agriculture and Quarantine Inspection Authority (NAQIA) haa also sent samples to their international partners and are also awaiting results.

VIDEO: NAQIA destroys batch of illegal Fijian Kava

It was found that this batch of the traditional Fijian drink did not meet import standards and regulations.

Coffee production may be affected by 30 percent

In a response to Loop PNG GCCI President, Sarah Shelley, says this is the general consensus of the organisation.

Shelley expressed concern with the recent find of the CBB  and the devastating effect it would have on farmers.

“We are very concerned with this recent find of coffee berry borer, Papua New Guinea was listed as one of two countries (Nepal being the other) in the world to be CBB free, its unfortunate we are now ruled out. 

CIC sets strategy for management of Coffee Berry Borer

CIC Chief Executive Office, Charlie Dambui, told Loop PNG  the incursion of the pest put the CIC’s plans on the backfoot and which now required a new plan to 

The incursion of the pest to throw plans of the Coffee Industry Corporation on the backfoot, as they now have to re-strategise on how to manage it.

This comes after the CIC introduced the ‘Tree to Cup’ program which aims to link small farmers to the markets by improving and maintaining the volume, consistency and quality of coffee.

Ramu Valley declared ‘Disease area’

Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Tommy Tomscoll in a media statement said the declaration has taken effect as of Aug 24, through the National Gazette number G593.

He said Ramu Agri Ltd (RAIL) reported the occurrence of sugar smut at their commercial sugarcane production fields to NAQIA on Aug 2 and sought assistance to confirm the detection of the disease.

“They also assist in implementing quarantine measures as in the emergency respond plan for sugar cane smut,” says Tomscoll.

Ox and Palm has no biosecurity or health threat: NAQIA

NAQIA managing director Joel Alu stated in a statement that an Import Risk Assessment (IRA) carried out by  Fiji’s quarantine in 2004 (Then known as Ministry of Agriculture, Sugar and Land Resettlement) proved that the canned meat was safe and in line with its biosecurity measures.   

“This was done in 2004. The outcome of this IRA process had been conveyed back to PNG and approval granted by the Fijian competent authority for Ox and Palm corned beef to be allowed market access in Fiji.

NAQIA outdated, says Tomscoll

Agriculture and Livestock Minister Tommy Tomscoll said this during the authority’s three-day consultation meeting with government stakeholders about the proposed Biosecurity Bill.

The cost of goods and services are high and NAQIA has to be responsible by playing their part so that the organisation not only modernises but must become effective, efficient, in control and must be feared by the people of Papua New Guinea.  

Tomscoll was giving the keynote address at the consultation meet, which started today, will continue tomorrow (April 19) and on Thursday (April 21).