News Releases

UWI to house facility for U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

For Release Upon Receipt - March 20, 2015

St. Augustine

ST. AUGUSTINE, Trinidad and Tobago – The University of the West Indies (UWI) will provide office space and facilities for the United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) in Trinidad and Tobago.  St. Augustine Campus Registrar, Richard Saunders and Deputy Administrator APHIS International Services signed a Memorandum of Understanding to that effect at the University Inn and Conference Centre on Friday, March 13.

APHIS International Services, which supports the Caribbean Plant Health Directors’ (CPHD) work programme for the region, has been collaborating with The UWI since the establishment of the CPHD Forum in the Greater Caribbean Region in 2007.  The UWI has had representation at the annual forum whose goal is to assist the Great Caribbean Region and the interdepending Regional Agricultural Institutes, such as APHIS IS, to collaboratively and strategically strengthen the phytosanitary capabilities and capacities of the Greater Caribbean. This has long been recognized as one of the ways to improve the ability of these countries to further develop their trade in agricultural commodities.

In his remarks, the Campus Registrar noted that for the last four years, The UWI, APHIS IS and the CPHD Forum have successfully presented the GCSI/UWI Plant Quarantine Principles and Procedures Training Course. More than 75 of the region’s plant quarantine personnel have been trained or retrained. The UWI also serves as a technical advisory member on several of the CPHD’s Technical Work Groups. Using The UWI’s technical expertise in areas such as plant health and the global sanitary and phtyosanitary principles, the CPHD Forum has been able to tackle issues related to pest prioritization and the Giant African Snail in the region.

The signing was witnessed by Trinidad and Tobago Minister of Food Production, Senator the Honourable Devant Maharaj and United States Chargé d’Affaires in Trinidad and Tobago, Margaret B. Diop.




The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is a multi-faceted Agency with a broad mission area that includes protecting and promoting U.S. agricultural health, regulating genetically engineered organisms, administering the Animal Welfare Act and carrying out wildlife damage management activities. These efforts support the overall mission of USDA, which is to protect and promote food, agriculture, natural resources and related issues. More:


About The UWI

Since its inception in 1948, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged, regional University with well over 40,000 students. Today, UWI is the largest, most longstanding higher education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with four campuses in Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Open Campus. The UWI has faculty and students from more than 40 countries and collaborative links with 160 universities globally; it offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology and Social Sciences. UWI’s seven priority focal areas are linked closely to the priorities identified by CARICOM and take into account such over-arching areas of concern to the region as environmental issues, health and wellness, gender equity and the critical importance of innovation. Website:


(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)