CABI shares progress made on its contribution to food security efforts in Africa at International Year of Plant Health meeting

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06 July 2021, Africa: CABI has shared progress its has made on its activities in Africa – particularly in respect of its contribution to food security on the continent – at an International Plant Protection Convention (IPCC) convened online conference held as part of the International Year of Plant Health.

Dr Washington Otieno, who is based at CABI’s regional centre for Africa in Nairobi, Kenya, highlighted the capacity development and technical assistance – focusing on advisory plant protection – provided by Plantwise and the development of decision support tools for Pest Risk Analysis (PRA), surveillance and pesticide risk reduction offered through the Action on Invasives and PlantwisePlus programmes.

He also spoke about the benefits of data access to enable evidence-based decision making and pest forecasting through the CABI-led Pest Risk Information Service (PRISE) and African Crop Epidemiology System (ACES).

Dr Otieno told the participants that it is time greater investment is considered for responsive approaches to phytosanitary issues as they emerge as well as considering food security and trade in equal measure.

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He added that it is time more prioritization is given to addressing the balance between plant health and food security, regulations and revenue generation as well as economic development.

“There is a need to strengthen the focus on regulatory plant protection to support access to food on the one hand and advisory plant protection and research plant protection to support production on the other,” he said.

Dr Otieno added that this needs to be achieved while ensuring a strong policy link of the three elements of plant protection.

The IYPH Webinar Series aims at building a path leading to the IPHC in 2022 together with the IPPC community, aligning with the IPPC Strategic Framework 2020 – 2030, recently adopted by the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (CPM).

This series of virtual events wishes to engage the international community on the importance of plant health after the IYPH comes to an end and to support the potential declaration of the International Day of Plant Health on 12 May each year by the United Nations General Assembly at the end of 2021.

The first event of the IYPH Webinar Series – attended by Dr Otieno took place virtually on 29 June 2021 and focused on the link between food systems and plant health, as an Independent Dialogue of the United Nations Food Systems Summit. This topic aligns with the IPPC Strategic Framework 2020 – 2030 and its Development Agenda, thus providing some initial inputs towards its implementation.

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