The National, Thursday 2nd May 2013
By MALUM NALU
EARLY warning systems through surveillance in border provinces and coffee producing areas are essential to ensure early responses for coffee berry borer (CBB).
This can be done through an emergency response plan for the coffee berry borer, National Agriculture Quarantine and Inspection Authority senior entomologist David Tenakanai said.
“The emergency response plan (ERP) was formulated by the Coffee Industry Corporation and its stakeholders in PNG to counter the incursion and establishment of CBB.
“The plan was launched in September 2006 and consists of a framework on the management, reporting and operational chain of command.
“It is a working document that requires regular simulation and trial to determine its effectiveness, efficiency and cost effectiveness in preparedness for an event of a coffee berry borer outbreak,” he said.
“The plan is still open to annual review and updating where appropriate.”
Tenakanai said the current structure needed to be streamlined to be effective for an event of an outbreak.
“Past outbreaks of pests such as the cocoa pod borer and coconut wilt disease were not effectively managed due to the broad nature of the structure,” he said.
“The diagnosis and eventual identification of the causal agents by scientists did not have efficient reporting mechanisms and coordination.
“Improper utilisation of funds meant for eradicating the pests and lack of dissemination of information and advice through the hierarchal structures were some of the difficulties encountered.
“Scientists were actively involved in all spectrum of the structure resulting in confusion over the flow of information and advice.
“For the ERP to be effectively coordinated, the structure must be sufficiently staffed with a national coordinating body and response management committee consisting of managers.
“The field operations and response teams must consist of scientists and technicians and there must be clear cut responsibilities to enable efficient and effective attention to the coffee berry borer.
“The plan must be simulated to furnish its effectiveness.”
Tenakanai said equipment and chemicals for immediate repose to an incursion of the coffee berry borer must be prepared and stocked.