Improved Systems for Managing Biosecurity Risks Associated with Horticultural Seed Imports

Fiji’s horticulture industry relies heavily on imported seed to produce fruit and vegetables for both domestic and export markets, but the imported seed is a potential biosecurity risk. This 2013 study examined Fiji’s seed import policy for its effectiveness in managing the risk of pests from imported seeds without overly restricting supply. Twenty-two seed types were examined, including fruit, vegetables, herbs and tobacco. The report recommends some updates to the General Conditions for all horticultural seed imports, and finds that herb seeds do not pose a risk and should be allowed under the updated General Conditions. It further recommends papaya seeds be assessed on a case-by-case basis by Biosecurity Authority of Fiji, and that Specific Conditions be applied to tobacco, tomato and Brassica seed imports.  A framework to accredit seed suppliers was also developed, and several approved seed treatments and suppliers agreed upon.

Key words: Pepino mosaic virus, seed import, potato spindle tuber viroid, tomato chlortic dwarf viroid, tobacco ringspot, tobacco streak, tobacco blunchy stunt viruses, pelleted tobacco, fungicide, phytosanitary certificate, khapra beetle, hermetically sealed seed, bacterial crown rot disease, papaya dieback disease, papaya ring spot virus, genetically modified organism GMO, fungicide treatment, seed treatment

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