Pooling Regional Efforts to Stop Pests and Food Diseases

  • CORAF invited stakeholders from West and Central Africa to a platform to discuss the best ways to fight against biological risks
  • Experts admitted that the lack of a regional approach limits the efficacy of actions taken at national levels
  • This platform will enable the pooling of efforts for a collective fight against the common enemy

Director-Generals and representatives of National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS) and other stakeholders from around twenty countries took part this October 19, 2020, in a webinar organized by CORAF, to discuss a holistic and collective approach to manage biological risks in West and Central Africa better.

This exchange platform set up by CORAF is designed to address the lack of coordination and cohesion in the management of risks, including the Fall Armyworm in both regions.

“We need, through CORAF, to find a platform on technical solutions and technological solutions regarding pests and diseases, where we can exchange information and carry out technology transfer between us. We need a replication, experimentation, and adaptation system of our technologies between regions. This means unity, a strong and reliable cohesion,” said Dr. Ângela Maria Pereira Barreto da Veiga Moreno, the Chair of the Governing Board of CORAF.

Highlighting the stakes, the Executive Director of CORAF, Dr. Abdou Tenkouano, said “twenty to forty percent losses are due to pests that could be avoided.

Forty-eight million people will congratulate us if we succeed or blame us if we do not succeed.”

According to the National Institute of Statistics, in Guinea, losses amount to more than 40% of the annual maize production or 300,000 tonnes.

Biological risks create huge financial losses for farmers and hinder food and nutrition security in West and Central Africa.

This webinar falls within a series of online engagement activities organized by CORAF to strengthen further synergies with NARS leaders in West and Central Africa. The online engagements are expected to culminate in the organization of a NARS Leaders Forum in 2021.

The first iteration was held on August 12, 2020, and focused on how COVID-19 disrupting research activities and mitigating measures.

CORAF is currently involved in a series of regional and international initiatives designed to manage bio risks better. This includes working within a global taskforce, collaborating with the FAO within the PAIRED project framework, and implementing a new European Union-funded project. The BIORISKS project, officially launched on 6 and 7 October 2020.