20 August 2014. Australia-Africa initiative. The Australian International Food Security Research Centre announced on 18 July 2014 the launch of a two-year, $800,000 initiative for sub-Saharan Africa.
- The project aims to help 10 countries such as Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique and Rwanda, become better equipped to combat plant biosecurity threats.
- The two-year $0.8m Plant Biosecurity Capacity Development Initiative – which is funded through theAustralian International Food Security Research Centre within ACIAR (the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research) – will be delivered by a consortium led by Australia’s Plant Biosecurity Cooperative Research Centre, including CSIRO, the Crawford Fund and CABI International.
- The consortium will develop and deliver the Program that will commence with a regional workshop to be conducted in Nairobi in September or October 2014. Stakeholders from a wide array of national, regional and international agencies and the private sector in eastern Africa will be invited to participate in the workshop.
- The workshop will work to identify strategic east African national and regional plant biosecurity needs and match these with Australian plant biosecurity capacity development partners and experts.
- Program activities will commence in early 2015.
"Pests and diseases are the single biggest threat to the quality and safety of produce. Poor or fragmented capacity to control pests and diseases reduces productivity – through losses in production or storage – and is a significant obstacle to regional and international trade of African plant products."says Michael Robinson, chief executive of the Plant Biosecurity Cooperative Research Centre.The initiative contributes to the Australian Government’s focus on aid for trade and economic growth. It will improve agricultural productivity and sustainability, strengthen agricultural value chains and help overcome regulatory impediments, while building capacity for agricultural innovation in Australia and Africa.
Speaking on ACIAR’s biosecurity research program in Melbourne on 18 July 2014, Dr Nick Austin, CEO of ACIAR - said the initiative will leverage Australia’s world-class strength, experience and comparative advantage in biosecurity.References: See project pages on the AIFSRC and Plant Biosecurity CRCwebsites: