Disinfectant mats coming to NMIA on February 1

Disinfectant mats coming to NMIA on February 1

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

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JAMAICA is to introduce the pilot installation of disinfectant (or disinfecting) mats at Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA) on February 1, as a part of a comprehensive effort to reduce the risk of both plant and animal pests entering the country.

Agriculture Minister Audley Shaw made the announcement at the recent launch of International Year of Plant Health, held at Hope Gardens in St Andrew.

During his address, Shaw affirmed that the strengthening of Jamaica's border protection capabilities is of high importance.

“Agriculture remains a significant aspect of the growth of small island nations such as ours. We must employ innovative strategies and technologies that will see us implementing effective post-border measures to safeguard both agriculture and plant health.”

He continued: “I am calling upon our travellers to exercise the highest level of care. I am calling on our importers to ensure that the plant material and plant-based produce brought in are clean and pest-free. I am calling upon our farmers and horticulturists to protect their crops; to use the best agricultural practices to ensure healthy pest-free production; prune your trees and plants and call on your extension officer if you need help.”

Shaw then informed that the responsible divisions and agencies of the ministry would continue to play their part in agricultural health.

In particular, he said the Plant Quarantine and Produce Inspection Branch, Rural Agricultural Authority (RADA), the Research and Development Division, The Banana Board, and the Jamaica Agricultural Commodities Regulatory Authority (JACRA), working collectively with other entities, have significant roles in keeping our public aware and engaged in employing measures to both prevent and manage plant diseases.

Shaw said the observance of 2020 as International Year of Plant Health provides another opportunity to intensify the commitment to ensuring the health and wellness of plants and consequently, of all living things on our planet.

In addition to the introduction of disinfectant mats at the NMIA, a mandatory pre-border sanitisation of used vehicles imported into Jamaica will come into effect at the end of this month.

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