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Preventing the transboundary spread of pests and pathogens through germplasm phytosanitary management
Review StatusPeer Review
MetadataShow full item record
Many introduced pests (=pathogens, pests, and weeds) are responsible for major crop disease epidemics. The estimated economic impact of introduced pests on Africa's agricultural sector was up to US$3.6 trillion per year. Seed transmission of pests, along with the international distribution of plant propagation materials, is a major risk for germplasm distribution activities of IITA. As a pest risk mitigation measure, IITA established Germplasm Health Unit (GHU) to facilitate germplasm production free of harmful quarantine pests for conservation and international distribution and comply with national and international quarantine procedures. GHU uses a multidisciplinary and multistage process for ensuring phytosanitary safety: seed health testing using a range of diagnostics. Between 2017-21, GHU tested about 700,00 samples of 15 species and eliminated 8% of pest-contaminated samples that could not be curated using phytosanitary treatments. GHU used about 560,000 diagnostics tests, which cost an average of US$10 per sample (US$ 5.6 million over five years). GHU distributed safe germplasm to 69 countries and prevented the transboundary spread of quarantine pests with IITA activities, making the most important contribution to national biosecurity.
Permanent link to this itemhttps://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12478/7988
IITA Authors ORCID
P. Lava Kumarhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-4388-6510