Training of phytosanitary inspectors
The purpose of the Fostering Agricultural Markets Activity (FARMA) is to provide technical assistance in Bosnia Herzegovina (BiH) subsectors of agriculture markets through demand driven assistance aimed at improved competitiveness of BiH agricultural products. FARMA is to expand environmentally sustainable production, processing and sales of value-added agricultural products. The expected result of FARMA is economic growth and contribution to poverty reduction.
Among other activities, FARMA has been working with the BiH Plant Health Administration to assist BiH potato producers meet phytosanitary requirements for the export of potatoes to the EU. Potato is one of the most widely grown crops in BiH and an important export crop. Currently, BiH cannot export potatoes to the EU as it does not have an EU-approved National Monitoring Plan on quarantine pests affecting potatoes.
The BiH Plant Health Administration has already adopted regulations on the systematic control and management of quarantine pests, in accordane to relevant EU directives. Laboratory testing for quarantine organisms of potato, especially quarantine bacteria that can spread via latent infections is of a paramount importance. FARMA has been working with the BiH Plant Health Administration to build capacity of laboratories in diagnostic methods of quarantine nematodes and bacteria. However, it is also crucial that phytosanitary inspectors – who will be in charge of sampling – are trained in proper sampling and plant health check procedures. Proper sampling will be crucial to ensure successful implementation of the monitoring plan for potatoes.
The purpose of this assignment was to train phytosanitary inspectors in proper sampling and plant health check procedures to ensure that BiH can successfully implement the monitoring program for potato quarantine pests.