Inadequate staff, a major issue for the Plant Protection Unit

Head of the Plant Protection Unit (PPU), Dr. Janil Gore-Francis has disclosed that lack of shipment inspectors is a problem faced by the Unit PPU.

She explained that although imported perishable produce are of top priority, at times, not all of them are checked in the shipping containers.

In making the disclosure during an exclusive interview with OBSERVER media yesterday, Dr. Gore-Francis said that currently only one person from the PPU is assigned to check shipments each week at Customs. According to her, that individual can only thoroughly check a certain number of containers a day, and if that number is exceeded not all the containers could be inspected.

The official pointed out that time is critical as she noted that shipments comprise perishable goods, and most times there would only be a random check on some containers while others are briefly scanned.

Such a situation, she said, poses an on-going problem in which the Unit encounters difficulty in preventing the importation of certain goods which could contain pests/diseases.

Two days earlier, the head of the Plant Protection Unit disclosed on OBSERVER AM that importation of oranges to Antigua and Barbuda is illegal.

(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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