Washington, D.C. – Sept. 7, 2023 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Jenny Lester Moffitt announced new partnerships to enhance plant and animal health at the Africa Food Systems Forum in Tanzania this week. Under Secretary Moffitt’s engagements underscored USDA’s strong partnership in Africa through delivering real solutions.
While there, Under Secretary Moffitt announced that USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), working in close partnership with the World Organization of Animal Health (WOAH), is helping to bolster animal health infrastructure, including partnerships in Africa building off longstanding work with the African Union.
The WOAH projects include creating tools for the early detection of emerging zoonotic infections in wildlife, harmonizing animal health processes, standardizing methods for managing sensitive trade issues, and minimizing food supply chain disruptions.
Under Secretary Moffitt also announced USDA’s partnership with the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization’s International Plant Protection Convention and the African Union to establish the Africa Phytosanitary Program to provide Africa with advanced tools to prevent, detect, and manage significant plant pests and diseases.
“The connections between plant pests, crop losses and food shortages are evident in Africa,” said USDA Marketing and Regulatory Programs Under Secretary Moffitt. “With plant pests undermining crop production and causing losses between 30-60 percent annually, the need for effective pest management strategies that address the detrimental effects of plant pests and plant and animal diseases is critical.”
The Africa Phytosanitary Program will equip national plant protection organizations with advanced, science-based approaches to prevent, detect, and manage significant plant pests and diseases that threaten food security and economic growth. APHIS has invested $750,000 in financial and in-kind expertise and time to develop pest surveillance protocols, electronic data collection and reporting tools, training materials, and to conduct training for 11 countries during this first year pilot phase. The goal is to include all 54 countries by 2026.
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