55 Regional Reps to Attend 6th Edition of Caribbean Plant Health Directors Forum at Belair Center

On Wednesday the 6th edition of the Caribbean Plant Health Directors (CPHD) Forum will open at the Belair Community Center.

Approximately 55 Chief Plant Health Officers from the Ministries of Agriculture in the Dutch, French, Spanish and English-speaking Caribbean countries and territories will attend the two and a half day forum that concludes on Friday.

The CPHD Forum is largely the result of efforts by the United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), with support from the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture and the Food and Agriculture Organization.

Mervyn Butcher from the Inspection Department TEZVT Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, told the Department of Communication on Monday that the forum is geared towards developing and implementing strategies for the protection of the Caribbean Region from harmful pests to the agriculture sector and by extension the economy.

He added that attendees will review the activities of the past year and plan for what they would like to achieve for the upcoming period.

A critical goal of the CPHD Forum is to increase communication and the transparent exchange of phyto-sanitary information among Caribbean countries. One of the means of promoting this exchange is through individual and group interchange of information via the annual CPHD Forum Meeting.

CPHD’s drive is to form a plant health organization comprising all Caribbean countries as well as a series of technical working groups under the annual meeting of the CPHD Forum.

The first meeting of CPHD, was convened at the CARICOM Secretariat Headquarters in Georgetown, Guyana in April 2008.