FAO and CABI act together to step up pest control in East Africa – Ethiopia
09 June 2021, Addis Ababa: As part of a large initiative to meet the plant protection needs of East African countries, a practical training program on pest risk analysis (PRA) was taught to experts from National Plant Protection Organizations (NPPOs) of Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan and South Sudan. ‘Uganda. The training program, launched by the Subregional Office for East Africa of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAOSFE) in collaboration with the Center for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI ), focused on early warning, preparedness and response systems for regional pest risk reduction and mitigation. Practical sessions on the PRA process, the Crop Protection Compendium, intended to collect information on pests, and the Horizon scan tool, which helps countries identify priority pests that are candidates for regulations, were explored. Since the sub-region is prone to multiple crop pests, PRA training helps countries and institutions build the capacity of their experts in methods of anticipation, identification, prevention and control, before that pests do not cause significant damage to crops, ”said MaryLucy Oronje, Sanitary and Phytosanitary Manager at CABI and PRA Senior Trainer. Abdi Mohamed Hussein, Director of Plant Protection Department of Somalia’s Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation (MOAI), said: “The training was timely and useful for us as it was the first of its kind. for Somalia. The knowledge and skills we have gained through training would be instrumental as we rebuild our institutions after years of civil war. CABI Deputy Regional Director Daniel Karanja for his part underlined the essential role that NPPOs play in mitigating the devastating effects of emerging pests on food security and trade, adding that better cooperation and coordination on sanitary and phytosanitary programs between countries in the same geographical area and climatic zones, was imperative. “CABI will continue to work with FAO to support NPPOs in their quest to reduce the risks of entry and establishment of pests and diseases in the sub-region. We urge our partner countries to invest in effective surveillance mechanisms, including early detection, monitoring and the use of rapid diagnostic tools as a first line of defense to avoid higher costs of eradication and control ” Karanja added.
Orlando Sosa, Agricultural Officer (Crops) at the FAO Sub-Regional Office for East Africa, urged participants to make full use of the skills and knowledge acquired through the PRA training, noting that the Risk analysis remains the best line of defense against new pests. “New pest introductions are often due to violations of inspections and quarantine protocols at border points, which often have devastating effects on livelihoods. NPPOs have the responsibility and obligation to protect farmers, traders and consumers from pest threats, ensuring that effective monitoring and response mechanisms are in place, ”Sosa added. As part of the capacity building initiative, FAO and CABI have also provided more than 35 published resources to strengthen sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) efforts in the nine countries of the sub-region. The resources included 11 International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures Manuals (ISPMs), 13 Diagnostic Protocols (DPs) and 14 books published by CABI covering various SPS related topics that were sent to East African countries. About pests The introduction and spread of transboundary pests has had devastating consequences throughout the East African sub-region. For example, in Kenya, the fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) causes annual losses in maize production estimated at between 159 and 177 million USD. Tuta (Phthorimaea) absoluta is also another transboundary pest, which has been cited as the most critical pest limiting tomato production in Africa, causing average seasonal economic loss equivalent to USD 59.3 million and USD 8.7 million in Kenya and Zambia, respectively. In recent years, the spread of plant pests and diseases has increased dramatically across Africa, especially in the East African sub-region. Globalization, trade and climate change, as well as reduced resilience of production systems due to decades of agricultural intensification, have all played a role. In recognition of this, FAO and CABI are working together to empower nations to build capacity in early warning, preparedness and response systems and plans to manage the spread of pests and thus protect losses. of harvests.
For more information, contact:
Abebe D. Banjaw FAO Communication Consultant SFE Tel: +251 (0) 116478888, Ext. 214 [email protected] Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Tezeta Meshesha Communication Specialist FAO SFE Tel. : +251 (0) 116478888, Ext. 193 [email protected] Addis Ababa, Ethiopia David Onyango Communication Specialist, CABI, email: [email protected]