The Department of Agriculture has kicked off celebrations for the International Year of Plant Health* 2020 by facilitation of a National Plant Pathology Diagnostics Training from 30th to 31st January, 2020. The training session helped to build the capacity of Plant Health Professionals in basic diagnostic techniques for pathogens, in particular those of priority in the Caribbean and strengthened the safeguarding systems in the Region, which would help to reduce the pest incursions that could potentially threaten agriculture production and trade.
The topics covered over the two day period included: techniques for field observations and field diagnosis, sample collection, handling and triage, common fungal and bacterial diseases, common field tests, pesticide treatments, culturing of bacteria and fungi and identification keys. The training equipped professionals who work in the field and laboratory setting with the appropriate knowledge to make suitable diagnoses of plant diseases.
*In December 2018, the United Nations General Assembly declared 2020 as the International Year of Plant Health (IYPH). The year is a once in a lifetime opportunity to raise global awareness on how protecting plant health can help end hunger, reduce poverty, protect the environment and boost economic development. The IYPH thus emphasizes plant protection and prevention. Everyone has a role to play in this regard. For example, travellers must be very careful when taking plants and plant products with them to other countries.