“Have a Plan”: PS Agriculture to Agricultural Officers

November 24, 2020

Picture : Permanent Secretary for Agriculture Mr  Ritesh Dass addressing the technical agriculture officers during the Plant Protection Training.

Retaining knowledge learnt during training workshops requires planning to ensure the practical knowledge is maintained. 

This was relayed by the Permanent Secretary for Agriculture, Mr. Ritesh Dass while addressing technical agriculture officers during the Plant Protection Training at the Koronivia Research Station yesterday, whereby he stressed the importance of the practical applications of diagnosing and applying relevant preventative and protective measures to safeguard the farmers’ livelihood.

He said the two areas of plant health and plant protection were two critical components of crop extension services and the onus was on technical staff to plan and utilise the knowledge gained from the training adequately to make a difference. 

“This one-week training is an investment in you by the Ministry; we’re taking the necessary steps to better equip you to becoming champions of plant health and protection,” said Mr. Dass.

He added that the Ministry had invested a significant amount of time, effort and resources on promoting plant health in Fiji. 

He also reminded the training participants to not only focus on domestic agriculture threats but to remain vigilant and ensure the agriculture sector was safeguarded from global pests and diseases.

“There is a lot of work we need to do to get there; spreading the gospel about what plant protection is and how do we actually ensure the health of your plant and how do we actually prevent the introduction of invasive species from entering our shores that can destroy the agriculture industry,” said Mr. Dass.

“The Ministry of Agriculture will be able to improve its services and take the sector to newer heights only if we are able to get the basics right, from having the plants growing at the right levels of health, being free from diseases and pests and delivering the highest possible yields,” he said.

The one-week Plant Protection Training and Plant Health Clinic will enable officers to assist farmers in recognizing diseases that affect their crops and to apply the recommended treatment.