Cabinet explains delay in snail eradication programme

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Agricultural officials have explained the delay in deploying the 2,000 pounds of snail bait to the 28 communities that have been overtaken by the Giant African Snail.
According to the recent Cabinet notes circulated by the Government’s Chief of Staff, Lionel “Max” Hurst, the Chief Plant Protection Officer, Dr Janil Gore Francis was among those who appeared before the Cabinet on Thursday.
Hurst said that Dr Gore Francis told the ministers that the Plant Protection Unit (PPU) was unwilling to provide bait to farmers because of the risks posed to humans and animals.
Meantime, in the post-Cabinet briefing, yesterday, Information Minister Melford Nicholas said the response mechanisms by the PPU are now in place.
“The way that the population of [the Giant African} Snails have multiplied within that particular timeframe certainly did not help the cause,” Nicholas said.
“I believe that now we are in a position to have the right process and products, I think we will get to the positon where we overcome it.”
The minister said that Cabinet members were informed that the bait must be put out with care, since it can cause harm when it enters waterways that lead to dams and reservoirs.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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