KINGSTON:Jamaica has been given approval for the use of three pesticides in the post-harvest treatment of root tubers, including yams destined for export to the United States of America. This comes as a result of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) committee’s efforts in having alternative pesticides to Botran which up to this point was the only approved chemical for use on yams.
The pesticides are Thiabendazole, Boscalid and Pyraclostrobin. According to the Office of Pesticide Programs, for the three pesticides listed above, there are tolerances established on yams for each. These tolerances are established by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the authority of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.
The Ministry is now undertaking efficacy tests and residue determinations of these pesticides when used in a post-harvest management programme. Additionally, the Ministry has sensitized over 100 fresh produce exporters regarding the FSMA and conducted training in post-harvest management.
It is important to note that the number of yam detentions has fallen significantly from a high of 41 last year to a single detention thus far in 2013.