The Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) joins the global commemoration of the International Year of Plant Health (IYPH) this year that aims to raise global awareness on how protecting plant health can help end hunger, reduce poverty, protect the environment, and boost economic development.
Plant health is increasingly under threat with climate change and human activities altering ecosystems, resulting in reduced biodiversity and creating environments where pests can thrive. At the same time, international travel and trade has tripled in volume in the last decade and can quickly spread pests and diseases around the world, causing great damage to native plants and the environment.
Protecting plants from pests and diseases is integral as it is often impossible to eradicate once they have established themselves and managing them is time-consuming and expensive. Prevention is critical to avoiding the devastating impact of pests and diseases on agriculture, livelihood, and food security and everyone has a role to play.
In December 2018, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly declared 2020 as the IYPH. This year is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to call for collective action towards plant health protection and prevention measures.
The Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) will lead the conduct of plant health seminars across the country, in partnership with the Department of Agriculture (DA) and its bureaus and attached agencies in support to IYPH. In addition to the goal of IYPH, the activity also aims to secure coordinated, effective action to prevent and control the introduction and spread of pests of plants and plant products.
The IYPH emphasizes steps towards prevention and protection for all sectors. For example, travellers must be careful when taking plants and plant products with them. People in the transportation industries need to make sure ships, airplanes, trucks, and trains do not carry plant pests and diseases into new areas. Governments should increase their support to national and regional plant protection organizations that are the first line of defense.
To learn more on what can be done to support #PlantHealth, visit http://www.fao.org/plant-health-2020/take-action.