Grenada has resumed the exportation of fresh mangoes to the United States, following the lifting of an almost 20-year ban imposed by the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).
The first commercial shipment comprised 3 varieties of mangoes, Julie, Ceylon and Graham, and was shipped by well-known trafficker Patrick “Carlo” King on Wednesday, 3 May 2023.
“We have not found any weevils or larvae, and it is safe to say that the shipment is safe for the market,” said Thaddeus Peters, Pest Management Officer. Peters was part of a 2-member team from the Pest Management Unit that offered support to King as they conducted visual and internal assessments for pests, particularly the Mango-seed Weevil and Fruit Flies.
The resumption of commercial exportation comes almost a year after the launch of the USDA–APHIS “Don’t Pack a Pest Programme,” which promoted awareness among intra-regional and international travellers about the risks that they take in packing and carrying agricultural items as they move towards the United States and the Caribbean.
While this move is significant for farmers and traffickers in Grenada to improve their foreign exchange earnings and livelihoods, Peters re-emphasised that the lifting of the ban only applies to commercial shipments.
“It is important for the public to know that passengers are not qualified to travel with mangoes to the United States. They are being reminded that only commercial traffickers who were issued with official clearance from the unit and have made the agreements with a facility in the United States to have it treated before it goes to the market, will be qualified to do so.”
The Pest Management Unit also assessed fields identified by the trafficker prior to the shipment.
Evan Alexander, Plant Quarantine Officer, stated that testing was done via field visits in the parish “assessing fruits in various areas and recommended the areas where no larvae or pupae were found or signs of the Mango-seed Weevil to the trafficker.”
The Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, Fisheries and Cooperatives, through the Pest Management Unit, safeguards the agriculture industry from the impacts of pests and diseases, which can affect food supply, natural resources, ecosystems, and many other aspects of day-to-day life.
Where are the shipments going to in the USA, Florida, California, NY???
WHAT are you ” treating ” the mango shipment with?? Pesticide?