Jamaica’s Plant Quarantine/Produce Inspection Branch is inching closer to modernizing the Plant Quarantine Act, a move that is set to make it more comprehensive in dealing with protection and quarantine issues.
According to Agriculture Minister Pearnel Charles Jr., the amendment will result in Jamaica having a modern Plant Health Act in line with international standards.
Addressing a recent Plant Quarantine Exporters’ Forum at the Ministry’s offices in Kingston, Charles said, “the draft modern Plant Health Bill is now undergoing its final technical review before being returned to the Attorney General’s Department for a further review and approval and proceeding to the next round of consultations.”
He added that the effort emphasises the ministry’s commitment to developing plant health and maintaining a sustainable export sector that benefits all stakeholders.
Charles went on to note that agriculture remains an important source of income for small-island nations, and while exporters continue to find new markets and maintain existing ones for Jamaican produce, the Ministry is playing a pivotal role in paving the way to access these new markets. This includes improving service profiles to bring efficiency to the export sector and providing technical support that is required along the way.
He assured that the ministry remains committed to maintaining an efficient process aimed at protecting Jamaica’s agriculture while ensuring that only the highest quality pest-free produce is exported from and imported into the country.