COLLECTIVE efforts must be given to combat rapidly spreading, cross-border animal and plant pests and diseases that could harm global food security.
This is according to the assessment of representatives from over 20 countries who attended a meeting organised by the United Nations – Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), World Organisation for Animal Health, Bioversity International, World Banana Forum and other donors last month.
The meeting aimed at mobilising more support to effectively and sustainably prevent, manage, and eradicate major pests and diseases that affect food production.
These culprits include fall armyworm (FAW), peste des petits ruminants (PPR) also called sheep and goat plague, and banana fusarium wilt (FW) which cause fast infestation even to new areas, thus affecting livelihoods of millions of smallholder farmers.
With such alarming concerns, FAO developed five-year programmes to support farmers and governments, and prevent further damage from the diseases, requiring multi-million dollar funding from donours to be implemented.