By Ritah Kemigisa
The Food and Agriculture Organisation estimates that plant pests and diseases cause food crop losses of up to 40 per cent.
This comes as Uganda grapples with Army worm that has so far ravaged over 12 districts, destroying huge chunks of maize, sorghum, sugarcane, rice, napier grass and rhodes grass.
According to the FAO Deputy Director-General Beth Bechdol, the damage they cause to agriculture and food production, exacerbates world hunger and threatens rural livelihoods.
Speaking at the 16th session of the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures on Tuesday, Bechdol highlighted “crucial opportunities ahead” to raise the profile of plant health issues.
Speaking at the same meeting, commission Chairperson Lucien Kouame said the current challenges leave world leaders with no option but to join efforts and show full commitment towards the mitigation of the effects of the risks plant pests and diseases.
The Commission is the governing body of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) an intergovernmental treaty signed by over 180 countries to coordinate the prevention and control of plant pests.