African Phytosanitary Protection: Experts in Confab

The steering committee and general assembly of the African Union Phytosanitary Council met in Douala, from April 29-30, 2019.

The Inter African Phytosanitary Council of the African Union is held at the Bano Palace hotel in Douala its 12th Steering committee meeting and the 28th general assembly. The steering committee was from April 29 to 30 while the general assembly is from May 1 to 3. The steering committee examined the situation of pests and the control measures recommended by the African Union, exchanged information and shared experiences in matters of plant protection and equally examined the different projects proposed by the steering committee in view of identifying potential sources of financing.

The resolutions of the steering committee will be forwarded to the general assembly which in turn will examine the activities of the executive bureau of the Inter African Phytosanitary Council since the last session in 2017, appreciate the impact of activities implemented, identify the possibilities of elaborating joint programmes and adopt the resolutions of the meeting, among other things.

Speaking during the opening ceremony, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Gabriel Mbairobe, called on the experts to explore innovative solutions towards allocating appropriate finances to plant protection, establish a surveillance network, a system of certification, regularly train inspectors, establish well equipped inspection points at border controls and updating national legislations. He said phytosanitary affects agricultural production which he said occupies about 60 per cent of the active population in Cameroon. He disclosed that 40 per cent of crops are lost to pests in Africa which is the highest loss in the world, hence the need to reinforce plant protection and production.

The Permanent Representative of the African Union and Director of the Inter African Phytosanitary Council, Jean Gerard Mezui M’ella, said the continent losses 220 billion dollars (circa FCFA 128.4 trillion) due to pest and 70 billion dollars (about FCFA 40.8 trillion) to invasive insects which cut across borders hence the need for a collective response at the regional, continental and global levels so as to ensure food security and combat poverty.

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