Vanuatu is expected to resume Tahitian lime export to NZ this year after several months of temporary cessation. Photo: MALFFB

Vanuatu is expected to resume Tahitian lime export to New Zealand (NZ) now that the export procedure manual has been polished, awaiting NZ’s Ministry for Primary Industry (MPI)’s approval.

Tahitian lime export to NZ has been temporarily ceased since September last year. NZ’s MPI instructed that Vanuatu’s Department of Biosecurity (DoB) stopped issuing certificates for the lime until gaps are sorted out.

The Tahitian Lime Export Procedure Manual outlines steps or requirements that Vanuatu has to follow when exporting Tahitian Lime to NZ for consumption.

It’s important that procedures are followed to ensure no pest problem is brought to NZ since Tahitian lime is regarded as one of the high pest risk commodities compare to others lower in pest risk as cassava.

Vanuatu is expected to conduct a trial export with the new process in the next season, from August this year till early next year.

The drafting team for the Tahitian lime document consists of three officers from the DoB, Vanuatu Agricultural Research and Technical Centre (VARTC) and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD).

Acting Principal Biosecurity, Leisongi Bule, as one of the officers said they are now waiting for NZ MPI’s to respond to the final comments for the document.

Director General (DG) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Forestry, Fisheries and Biosecurity (MALFFB) will officially hand over the document to NZ before export can resume, she said.

“We are really looking forward to applying the new process this year. With no exports last year, our limes have just been wasted,” she added.

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