Sep. 26, 2019
African Union Inter-African Phytosanitary Council AU—JAPSC is currently engaging AU Members States in a capacity building training on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies and enhancing advocacy, awareness and communication to ensure availability of sufficient safe Biological Control Agents in Banjul.
Director of AU-IAPSC, Dr. Jean Gerard MEZUI M`ELLA said the programme was adopted by the African Union Commission and is being implemented under the AU-IAPSC 2019 programme budget.
He said currently, the annual loss due to pests before and after harvest is estimated at about 35 to 40 percent, saying Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is used as one of the tools to reduce damages caused by pests without harming the environment. “In line with the need to address these challenges, the AU-IAPSC, within the framework of implementing its 2019 programme budget, has developed two main activities: strengthening the capacity of Member States on IPM strategies and implementation of sustainable agriculture.”
He said AU-IAPSC mission is to protect continental cultivated and wild plant resources from pests, thus prompting food security and environmental protection, while facilitating safe trade. “We all know that plants make up 80 percent of the food we eat and produce 98 percent of the oxygen we breathe. Invasive Alien Species that are plant pests are responsible for the loss of up to 40 percent of global food crops, and for trade losses exceeding USD 220 billion in agricultural products annually,” he said.
Deputy Director General of the Department of agriculture, Sariyang Jobarteh commend the Plant Protection Services for their efforts and hard work in reaching out to farmers even in the most remote communities. “I hope they continue to work towards the country’s development plans and the ministry’s vision.”
He reiterated the agriculture ministry’s commitment in participating in the development of a regulatory framework and an IPM program. “I would like to call on other donor agencies and organisation to strengthen the capacity of the different Plant Protection Organisations of AU Member States in developing and implementing IPM and biological control for sustainable agriculture.”