16 October 2014 On World Food Day, CABI is proud to announce it has joined the Australia-Africa Plant Biosecurity Partnership, a two-year A$1m programme to strengthen skills in plant biosecurity in Africa. The aim is to help facilitate trade, including intra-regional trade, by addressing plant pest and disease problems that hinder agricultural exports and threaten food security.
The programme will be delivered by a consortium including CABI, the Crawford Fund and CSIRO, and led by the Plant Biosecurity Cooperative Research Centre. It is being funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), and CABI is contributing an additional $200,000.
The initiative fits well with CABIs mission to help smallholder farmers by applying scientific expertise to solve problems in agriculture and the environment. It will leverage CABIs world-class experience in plant health and biosecurity, and also supports CABIs focus on tackling the spread of invasive alien species and strengthening agricultural value chains.
Agricultural trade is a powerful engine for economic growth, poverty alleviation and food security, but harnessing it can be difficult, says Julie Flood, Senior Global Director for Trade and Commodities at CABI. By joining this initiative, CABI is helping to build plant biosecurity capacity within Africa, helping Africas ability to trade more effectively in the future.
Established in response to requests from African stakeholders, the partnership will commence with a regional workshop in Nairobi, Kenya on 27-28 October 2014. The workshop will identify key areas of plant biosecurity needed in the partnership countries of Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Aside from plant biosecurity workshops in Africa, partnership activities will include short-term placements of African plant biosecurity specialists in relevant Australian agencies, a mentoring system for African participants and funding assistance for developing biosecurity action plans at national and regional level. The Australia-Africa Plant Biosecurity Partnership aims to leverage support from other international agencies and to complement other work underway on plant biosecurity issues in Africa.
More information on the partnership is available at www.pbcrc.com.au/research/east-africa.
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