18 October 2022, Germany: The CABI-led Global Burden of Crop Loss programme has hosted a webinar concerned with how to feed the world.
Up to 40% of crops are lost to pests and diseases. Around the world, as many as 828 million people still go hungry.
The webinar was held as part of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations’ Science and Innovation Forum 2022 side events.
It was chaired by Dr Ulrich Kuhlmann, CABI’s Executive Director, Global Operations.
The webinar included contributions from Dr Osama El-Lissy, Secretary of the International Plant Protection Convention, and Professor Dan Bebber, of the University of Exeter, UK.
Dr Bryony Taylor, Digital Development Coordinator, Modelling and Data Science at CABI, Dr Felicitas Schneider, of the Thünen Institute of Market Analysis, Germany, and Dr Prasanna Boddupalli, of CIMMYT, also took part.
The session explored the causes and impacts of crop loss and the need for an evidence-based information system to tackle it.
Reducing crop losses
Dr Kuhlmann said, “Reducing crop losses is critical to meeting the increasing demand for food without increasing the environmental impact of agriculture.
“Despite the severe impacts of crop losses on food security, nutrition, livelihoods, and national economies, our scientific understanding of the problem is limited.
“We propose a global scientific collaboration to close this evidence gap and underpin evidence-based policy to tackle the challenge.”
Centrality of science
The FAO Science and Innovation Forum 2022 focuses on highlighting the centrality of science, technology and innovation for agri-food systems transformation.
The event encourages a diversity of perspectives based on science, thereby facilitating rationalization and inclusiveness of debate.
Increased food security
The Global Burden of Crop Loss initiative is modelled after the Global Burden of Disease initiative in human health. This transformed health policy and research, over the last 25 years, through better use of data.
The initiative aims to have a similar impact in agriculture. It seeks to provide evidence to enable the global plant health community to generate actionable information.
By doing so it is hoped it will lead to a dramatic reduction in crop loss, resulting in increased food security and trade.
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