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Assessment of phytosanitary laboratories authorized to perform analyses for Clavibacter michiganensis and Ralstonia solanacearumClavibacter michiganensis and Ralstonia solanacearum

The assignment was carried out as part of ORGUT’s subcontract with Chemonics International within the USAID/Sida project –FARMA in Bosina-Herzegovina. The purpose of USAID/Sida FARMA is to provide technical assistance in agricultural sub-sectors through demand driven assistance aimed at improved competitiveness of agricultural products. USAID/Sida FARMA is a development project jointly funded by USAID and Sida and implemented in Bosnia and Herzegovina. USAID/Sida FARMA is to expand environmentally sustainable production, processing, and sales of value-added agricultural products. The expected result of FARMA is contribution to poverty reduction. USAID/Sida FARMA is implemented by Chemonics International with ORGUT as a subcontractor. ORGUT provides consulting services aiming at increasing agricultural competitiveness, meeting EU accession standards, reducing poverty by expanding environmentally sustainable production, and increasing sales, exports, and employment. USAID/Sida FARMA’s approach focuses on four integrated components: Building sustainable market linkages for producers; Increasing access to finance; Building the capacity of producer organisations’ and other counterparts; and Enhancing the policy environment to benefit competitiveness of agricultural goods. In order to attain project goals, USAID/ Sida FARMA uses various tools, including a Development Fund and Partners Fund for targeted subcontracts to local partners.

FARMA has been working with the BiH Plant Health Administration to assist BiH potato producers meet phytosanitary requirements for the export of potatoes to the EU. With FARMA support, the BiH Plant Health Administration (BiH PHA) has initiated the first national monitoring program (NMP) in plant health in 2010 – on quarantine pests of potatoes, as per EU Directives. FARMA has provided comprehensive support to PHA to fulfill requirements regarding PMP in area of: assessment of phytosanitary laboratories, organization of proficiency tests for authorized laboratories, education of laboratory staff and phytosanitary inspectors etc. In 2011/2012 FARMA conducted first assessments of all phytosanitary laboratories authorized by PHA with an aim to determine which laboratories are best equipped, staffed and competent to meet the requirements of the NMP. Based on the usefulness of the previous assessment and results of proficiency tests completed in 2011, one laboratory that was authorized in 2011 was excluded from the 2012 NMP. In the second year of implementation of the NMP on quarantine pests affecting potatoes a new assessment is needed to assess the work of these laboratories in accordance to required EU standards, which is the work carried out by ORGUT in this assignment.

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