The Food Security Centre is making progress building plant biosecurity capacity in eastern Africa. The Australia Africa Plant Biosecurity Partnership is about to reach another milestone with the upcoming prioritisation workshop in Nairobi on 27 & 28 October. Our two-year $0.8m Plant Biosecurity Capacity Development Initiative aims to build individual and institutional capacity in partner African countries to address significant regional plant pest and disease issues that not only impact on crop production, but can seriously undermine intra-regional and international trade of African crops.
The Partnership was established in response to requests from African stakeholders who highlighted Australia’s significant strengths in biosecurity could be harnessed to build African biosecurity capacity. The Partnership is being delivered by a consortium led by Australia’s Plant Biosecurity Cooperative Research Centre, including CSIRO, the Crawford Fund and CABI International. CABI has committed an extra $200,000 to the project and the Food Security Centre is in active discussions with DFAT to secure further potential support.
Activities to be delivered include short-term placements of African biosecurity specialists in relevant Australian agencies, plant biosecurity workshops in Africa, a mentoring system for African participants and funding assistance for developing biosecurity action plans at national and regional level.
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.