Pest surveillance under discussion for effective plant health system
By Claude Tenkeu in Libreville, Gabon
About ten Member States from across Africa and representatives of Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) are meeting in Libreville Gabon for a workshop on strengthening and improving capacity for an effective Plant Health and Disease Surveillance System in Africa.
The workshop has been organized by African Union Inter-African Phytosanitary Council of African Union (AU-IAPSC) with the specific aim of building the Member States’ capacity in the knowledge and development of an effective robust plant pest and diseases surveillance system in the continent.
In her opening remarks, AU-IAPSC Acting Coordinator Dr Sandrine Bayendi Loudit extended appreciation to the government of Gabon for hosting the workshop and hoped that the meeting would yield actionable recommendations towards the improvement of plant pest surveillance within the continent.
Secretary General of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Republic of Gabon reiterated the significance of the workshop, given the importance of plant pest surveillance for food security and market access on the continent.
At the meeting, representatives of the National Plant Protection Organizations (NPPO’s) started sharing the pest surveillance situation within their respective countries, the diagnostic tools being deployed and other best practices in pest management.
There were also presentations on current tools developed by the Commonwealth Agricultural Bureau International (CABI) and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) for countries to discuss and/or adopt.
The workshop also seeks to facilitate the protection of cultivated and wild plants by preventing the introduction and spread of pests and enable importing countries to more accurately determine phytosanitary requirements.