International Plant Health Day 2024

International Day of Plant Health

  • Date
    12.05.24
  • Time
    12:00 am > 12:00 am UTC-11:00

Did you know that 80% of our food and 98% of the oxygen we breathe come from plants?

Yet, these life-sustaining resources face threats from pests and diseases that are exacerbated by international travel, trade, and climate change.

Protecting plant health is essential to enhancing productivity, profitability, sustainability, and resilience of agricultural food systems. However, farming communities, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, face difficulties in managing current and emerging plant pests and diseases. These threats lead to an average loss of 10–40% in major food crops annually, amounting to a cost of around US$220 billion to the global economy. The greatest losses are seen in regions with rapid population growth and food deficits.

 

Increased international trade and travel and inadequate phytosanitary systems fuel the rapid global spread of pests and diseases. Climate change worsens this situation, as agriculture intensification and diversification give rise to new threats. These challenges disproportionately impact under-resourced communities, especially rural women and youth.

On the International Day of Plant Health, CGIAR affirms its commitment to stakeholders and the entire research community to ensure the safety of our food, the security and equity of our trade, and the strength of our economies. 

We help protect agriculture-based economies in low- and middle-income countries. We aim to prevent the spread of crop pests and disease outbreaks by promoting inclusive innovations and networks.  

The Work We Do: 

We Keep Plants Healthy with Practical Solutions
CGIAR centers lead in crafting real-world solutions to halt crop pests and diseases. Our research and technologies are specially designed for the unique challenges faced by different regions, supporting robust food systems and sustainable agriculture. 

We Promote Fair and Inclusive Approaches
We champion equality in managing plant health. By engaging diverse communities and striving to close gender gaps, we enhance our strategies and ensure everyone benefits from healthier plants and crops. 

We Use Data and Eco-Friendly Practices
We utilize clear and effective data systems to monitor and address crop risks. Simultaneously, we advocate for and implement environmentally friendly practices that promote the health of plants and ecosystems. 

 

 

With partners, scientists across CGIAR are working to safeguard the agriculture-based economies of low- and middle-income countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America from severe crop pest invasions and disease outbreaks. For example, a part of the Plant Health Initiative has developed AI models with an 80% accuracy rate in predicting banana areas, enhancing disease risk modeling and surveillance decision-making. In Zimbabwe, we combat Maize Lethal Necrosis, a threat to food security, by deploying disease-resistant maize varieties. In Ghana, we forge partnerships to tackle invasive species and promote natural remedies. 

It’s time to #RootForTheBest: Join CGIAR in embracing the innovations that protect our planet’s vital resources. 

Share our articles and your thoughts on how we can protect our plants! Use the hashtag #RootForTheBest on your social media posts.  

Curious about CGIAR’s work? This July at CGIAR Science Week, we will present our work on protecting agriculture-based economies in low- and middle-income countries by developing inclusive innovations and networks to prevent crop pest incursions and disease outbreaks.

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