International Society for Plant Pathology
Promoting World-Wide Plant Health and Food Security
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International Society for Plant Pathology

TASK FORCE ON GLOBAL FOOD SECURITY

CHALLENGE PROJECT 2007

African proposal successful

A proposal from the University of Pretoria has been selected to address the Task Force objective to: "Raise the profile of plant disease, as a contribution to the challenge of global food security"

Applications for the 3-year, $50,000 award, from 15 countries, were numerous and diverse. Selection, first by the Task Force and then by ISPP's Executive Committee, was based primarily on the degree of match to the objective of the Call for Proposals. The successful proposal is entitled: Changing Public Perceptions and Opinions on Global Food Security

Professor Lise Korsten of the University of Pretoria presents these objectives of the project:

To establish a Food Security Information Hub at the University of Pretoria to build capacity in South Africa and Africa in Plant Pathology and to create public private sector awareness of the importance of plant diseases in food security. To link this hub with other information awareness projects in South Africa. To develop marketing material such as brochures, videos etc, for the public awareness programme. To purchase a second hand truck and convert it into a Plant Pathology Science Information and Demonstrative Laboratory vehicle that can travel between schools and science festivals in South Africa to create public awareness and inform the public of food security issues.

Background

The Task Force called for proposals with innovative ideas that may contribute to raising the profile of plant disease, as a contribution to the challenge of global food security. In particular, it was looking for projects that will help to improve awareness of the impact and importance of plant disease. The Call for Proposals included these guidelines:

  •  The project should give, within 3 years, a tangible output that is able to effect change
  •  The output should help to demonstrate that plant disease is important for food security. The output may be suitable for influencing policy-makers, from a science base
  •  The output may be suitable for informing the public and/or teaching students, from a science base. The project may aim to strengthen the attractiveness of plant pathology to students
  •  The project may aim to strengthen data on the quantitative impact of plant disease
  •  The project may be based on one or more case studies, from developing or developed countries or both
  •  The project is likely to include field work and desk studies
  •  The project should be achievable with a contribution of no more than $50,000 from ISPP, over a period of 3 years
  •  The project should be appropriate to the status of ISPP and to the aims of its Task Force

Comments may be sent to the Chairman of the Task Force, Peter Scott at p.scott@cabi.org .

December 2007