By now, we know that 2020 is the International Year of Plant Health (IYPH). Throughout the year, partners and stakeholders in agriculture shall increase awareness among the public and policymakers on the importance of healthy plants and the necessity to protect them in order to reduce hunger, malnutrition and poverty.

To create more awareness, IITA has developed a website through which to disseminate accurate plant health information.

According to Kathy Lopez, IITA head of communication, “this website will house information on plant health breakthroughs developed by IITA and partners. Our readers should look out for informative videos, blogs posts, graphics and news concerning plant health.”

In this introductory video David Chikoye, IITA’s director of plant production and health management goes down memory lane and outlines IITA’s contribution to plant health in Africa. He says, “looking back over the last 50 years of IITA existence; we have made significant progress in terms of combating major pests. One of the major pests we worked on was cassava mealy bug, which was devastating the cassava crop.” He also mentions cassava green mite another pest that IITA and partners combated using biological control. IITA also developed Green Muscle, an environmentally safe pesticide. If adopted, locusts would be no more. More recently, IITA developed and commercialized Aflasafe, which is a biological control agent that reduces aflatoxins by almost 90%. Using Aflasafe ensures that people consume safe grains, thus reducing the risk of liver cancer in adults and stunting in children. Aflatoxin-free produce also enables farmers to trade in premium western markets, thus considerably boosting their household incomes.

To visit the IYPH website, click here


This news was originally published by the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA):

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