Fijian ginger import review is a welcome step
AUSVEG welcomes the Department of Agriculture bringing forward a review into import conditions for Fijian ginger after detection of live root knot nematode in a shipment of the product after trade commenced earlier this year.
“At the time of the detection AUSVEG and the Australian Ginger Growers Association voiced concerns that a live organism had made it through fumigation treatment and on to Australian shores. This raised some serious questions in relation to the Import Risk Analysis for Fijian ginger that was conducted by biosecurity staff in the Federal Department of Agriculture,” said AUSVEG spokesperson Andrew MacDonald.”
“AUSVEG is happy to see the Department bring forward the review and is eager to see the risks re-assessed.”
AUSVEG is the leading horticultural body representing Australia’s 9,000 vegetable and potato growers.
While the species of nematode found in the imported ginger is already found in Australia, according to the Australian ginger industry the Fijian pest of concern, a variant of burrowing nematode (Radopholus similis), is causing significant damage to ginger crops in that country.
“The Fijian burrowing nematode is much more aggressive and destructive than those already found in Australia, and could have serious implications not only for ginger growers, but for the local vegetable and potato industries more broadly were it to make its way on to Australian shores,” said Mr MacDonald.
“We are happy that the Department have realised the seriousness of the threat, and that a review has been brought forward.”
“It is imperative that the Department of Agriculture heeds the warnings of industry groups, scientists and the Senate Committee, especially when any biosecurity breach could have serious and destructive impacts on the health and viability of Australian horticulture.”
AUSVEG has previously raised concerns in relation to the Federal Import Risk Analysis process amid fears fresh potato imports from New Zealand could result in infestations of the devastating Tomato Potato Psyllid and Zebra Chip Disease in Australia.
MEDIA CONTACT: Andrew MacDonald, Manager – Communications, AUSVEG, Phone: (03) 9882 0277 Mobile: 0406 836 330 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org