Grenada holds tabletop simulation exercise for tomato leaf miner

Grenada has evaluated its safeguard systems by analyzing the National Emergency Response Plan (ERP) that deals with the Tomato Leaf Miner or Tuta Absoluta.

Extension and Plant Quarantine Officers, representatives of the Seaport and Airport authorities, farmers, and others recently participated in a tabletop simulation exercise to identify gaps and possible action for response to an incursion by Tomato Leaf Miner, should the pest be identified here.

“This is a plant quarantine pest; the main host is tomatoes. It damages the leaves, fruits, and stems, but related plants of the Solanaceae can also be affected,” explained Pest Management Officer Thaddeus Peters.

The exercise, which was organized by the Pest Management Unit (PMU), falls under the Greater Caribbean Safeguarding Initiative (GCSI) project, implemented by the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA).

IICA’s National Specialist Derek Charles spoke of the significant role that the exercise can play in helping to protect agricultural outputs and commodities, ensuring that crops can thrive in an environment that is free of pests and diseases. “Awareness at this point is critical; we need to be aware of certain species like the Leaf Miner that causes major damage to the sector and keep it away from our shores.

The exercise will help us to prepare and activate a full-scale response should pests like these, which can cause major damage to the agriculture sector, reach our shores.”

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