AgNova Technologies is the latest organisation to become an associate member of Plant Health Australia (PHA).
Greg Fraser, PHA Executive Director and CEO, welcomed AgNova noting that the PHA partnership is strengthened with each new member.
“It is very pleasing that a company involved in the biosecurity supply chain has decided to join our ranks. As the peak national coordinating body for plant biosecurity, the effectiveness of PHA is enhanced by having wide representation across the supply chain, the major plant industries and governments.
“AgNova Technologies joins the ranks of eight other PHA associate members, the governments of Australia, and 34 plant industries ranging from cotton, grains and citrus to dried fruits, pistachios and olives.
“We want to understand more generally how the supply chains work, including that for farm chemicals, so that we don’t end up with shortfalls in availability or knowledge about their safe use in the event of an emergency plant pest incursion,” said Mr Fraser.
Business Manager for AgNova Technologies, Andrew Glover, said the company sources, develops and distributes speciality crop protection and production solutions for agricultural and horticultural producers.
“We currently market a wide range of specialist herbicides, fungicides, insecticides and non-chemical products within Australia,” said Mr Glover.
“As an associate member of PHA we have direct access to first-hand knowledge and expertise about the biosecurity system. The unique combination of PHA’s member profile means we have access to a reliable source of information and forewarning of potential issues in the supply chain.
“If a pest is new to Australia, there may not be a registered chemical available to treat it,” he said.
As part of preparation for emergency plant pest incursions, PHA has been working on a number of projects in relation to the chemical supply chain. One project is with the Australian Pesticide and Veterinary Medicines Authority to obtain emergency permits for the use of chemicals on pests not yet in Australia.
The availability of emergency use permits, or ‘shelf permits’, flags the potential use of the product with suppliers like AgNova, ensuring there are known sources for their safe and effective application in emergencies.
“Knowledge about the use of a chemical overseas can be valuable in determining options for its use in Australia. But in some cases it’s necessary for chemicals to undergo further testing or field trials, and to ensure there are no issues with residues affecting market access of products.
“Chemicals may also be needed for the regional control of pests already in Australia, and demands may suddenly increase if a pest spreads from its current location,” said Mr Glover.
The member combination of plant industries, all Australian governments, and other biosecurity stakeholders ensures that PHA is in a strong position to provide independent advice and facilitate decision making that is in the best interests of the national plant biosecurity system.