Plant quarantine is defined as the legal enforcement of the measures aimed to prevent pests from spreading or to prevent them from multiplying further in case they have already gained entry and have established in new restricted areas.
Plant quarantine may, therefore, be defined as ‘Rules and regulations promulgated by governments to regulate the introduction of plants, planting materials, plant products, soil, living organisms, etc. with a view to prevent inadvertent introduction of exotic pests, weeds and pathogens harmful to the agriculture or the environment of a country/region, and if introduced, to prevent their establishment and further spread’. Plant quarantine is thus designed as a safeguard against harmful pests/pathogens exotic to a country or a region.
To prevent the entry, establishment and spread of exotic pests in India as per the provisions of The Destructive Insects & Pests Act, 1914 and the notifications issued there under.
To provide an efficient and effective service, that fully satisfies our customers, such as importers, exporters, individuals and the Government.
In India, several pests and diseases got introduced from time to time, some of which, like late blight of potato, banana bunchy top, bacterial blight and streak diseases of paddy, have since become widespread. Some others like golden nematode and wart disease of potato and downy mildew of onion are still localized in certain parts of the country.
The above examples only highlight the risks involved in inadvertent introduction of serious pests/diseases along-with the planting material imported without adequate safeguards. Plant quarantine can provide such safeguards. Plant quarantine measures aim at providing protection to the agriculture of a country or region against the likely ravages of alien pests/pathogens should they get introduced and established. These measures are of particular importance and relevance to countries like India whose economy is largely based on agriculture. Quarantine not only helps to ward off the threats of exotic pests, but also aim to eliminate and prevent further spread of pests/pathogens (both indigenous and introduced) with restricted distribution within the country (domestic quarantine).
Plant quarantine, in real sense, serves as a national service by preventing the introduction of exotic pests/pathogens/weeds and their further spread. However, such endeavours could succeed only with the active support of all-the administrators, general public, farmers, scientists, communication media, customs and others.
Plant quarantine services are charged with the responsibility of preventing entry of hazardous pests, pathogens and weeds, but to deny entry to the valuable genetic resources would be against national interest. These activities are meant to help agricultural development and they are complementary to each other. Too much conservatism on the part of plant quarantine officials and too liberal an attitude on the part of plant introduction officials/breeders would be harmful.
Plant quarantine officials must strive to provide adequate safeguards to allow smooth flow of germplasm resources in a healthy state. They should also try to ensure that the germplasm, when received in quarantine station, is processed promptly and that the delays in release, if any, are purely due to biological considerations alone. At the same time, circumvention of plant quarantine must be avoided at all cost even if it means delay in release or rejection of certain materials based on biological consideration. The two should work in unison as members of a single team. Together they should decide the type, quantity and source of the material, and also the required quarantine safeguards. The plant quarantine officials should conduct research on developing sensitive and reliable methods of detection and salvaging treatments, or find alternatives to permit introduction of even high risk genera, if introduction of such materials is in the national interest.
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