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USDA stresses on pest-free products

Pakistan needs to determine risk of pests and diseases. PHOTO: FILE/REUTERS

Pakistan needs to determine risk of pests and diseases. PHOTO: FILE/REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has made great strides in increasing the value and quality of agriculture commodities but needs to stress on ensuring that exported products are pest-free, said experts from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

They were speaking at a training session conducted to train relevant Pakistani officials working in the Department of Plant Protection (DPP). A risk analyst and an export coordinator with the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service conducted the training in plant pest risk analysis, mitigation, and communication for Pakistan’s DPP officials and other stakeholders, said a statement of the embassy.

The training was part of an international collaboration to support Pakistan’s efforts to expand trade in agricultural commodities. The goals were to expand the knowledge of Pakistan’s plant health regulatory and scientific officials and to foster collaboration between USDA and Pakistan’s plant health officials.

“The Government of Pakistan has made incredible strides in recent years to increase the value and quality of exported agricultural commodities,” said USDA export coordinator Lottie Erikson. “The USDA is pleased to support the DPP’s efforts to expand its staff and strengthen its skills.”

USDA risk analyst Walter Gutierrez described the importance of a plant pest risk analysis. “To accomplish safe trade, imported and exported products must be free of pests and diseases.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 21st, 2015.

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