Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Plant quarantine and IRRI: sowing the seeds in harmony

By Ma. Lorelie U. Agbagala
OIC- Post Entry Quarantine Station
Bureau of Plant Industry
Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines

1:15–2:15 p.m., Thursday, 24 April 2014
Havener Auditorium, IRRI


IRRI has been actively involved in the collection, conservation, and use of rice plant genetic resources and its wild relatives from all parts of the world. These are regularly exchanged with national and international programs for rice improvement and agricultural development. As part of the measures to prevent the inadvertent spread of pests through exchange activities, IRRI established the Seed Health Unit (SHU) in 1982 through a MOA with the Bureau of Plant Industry-Post Entry Quarantine Station (BPI-PEQS). SHU facilitates germplasm exchange in support of IRRI’s international rice improvement programs. SHU operates within the procedural framework established by the BPI-PEQS for the introduction and export of germplasm. For instance, all the exchange operations of IRRI’s activities are organized in accordance with the legislation and regulations of the BPI-PEQS under the Department of Agriculture.

Germplasm exchange activity starts with the application of a permit from a host country for germplasm import (for use in IRRI’s R&D programs) or germplasm export (to partners, collaborators and other stakeholders, including IRRI’s missions in other countries). In addition,  SHU applies for phytosanitary certificates (PC) for the export of material. The PC is issued by the PEQS after it is determined that the material being exported met the phytosanitary standards of the importing country. SHU invariably complies with national regulations in obtaining these two documents for all seeds or plant materials sent or received. Similarly, when material is imported, it is subject to post-entry inspection to ensure it complies with the conditions specified in the import permit. Depending on the need, material is held in the post-entry isolation facility until the necessary clearances are obtained. Materials that satisfy all the conditions are released for IRRI’s use.

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