Biosecurity preparedness for theavocado industry NZ Avocado is seeking industryfeedback on the intention to sign the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB)Operational Agreement (OA). Just likethe Fruit Fly OA, this is a threat specific arrangement under the GovernmentIndustry Agreement (GIA) biosecurity partnership. All horticulture groups wereasked to undertake research to determine if they will be impacted by thearrival of BMSB into New Zealand. NZ Avocado has now completed this assessmentand believes that we would be a minor beneficiary for the collective readinessand response activities that industries and MPI will undertake. Although the threat toavocados is believed to be minimal there remains a number of unknowns as BMSBhas not yet invaded some of the major avocado producing areas of California so theinvestigation into the bugs potential to impact avocados continues. The conclusion of the NZAGAExecutive is that we should be part of the BMSB Operational Agreement. However,as the impact to avocados is minimal we have negotiated a very lowimpact rating and proportionate cost share (0.2%) with a well-defined fiscalcap. This ability to fix an industry’s financial liability through theOperational Agreement process is one of the main advantages of joining GIA. With over 150 BMSBinterception events in the 2016-17 risk period (September to April), thisinvasive bug has a high potential of invading NZ in the coming years. Throughthe GIA partnership we would want to help mitigate the impact of BMSB as theywill also be a significant household nuisance for growers. See video here Also see the following videoproduced by MPI on the potential impacts to horticulture in New Zealand. See video here Please contact Brad Siebertif you wish to discuss this further.