International Society for Plant Pathology
Promoting World-Wide Plant Health and Food Security
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Public Discussion Forum
 
Plant Pathology and
GLOBAL FOOD SECURITY
 
Monday 25 August 2008
19:30 - 22:00
Lingotto Conference Centre, Torino, Italy
 
Organized by ISPP's Task Force on Global Food Security
as part of the
9th International Congress of Plant Pathology
 
 
THE ENORMITY OF THE PROBLEM
 
During the World Food Summit in Rome in 1996, Heads of States proposed to halve the number of undernourished people by 2015. In the ensuing 10 years, virtually no progress has been made towards this goal.
 
        More than 800 million people do not have adequate food
        1.3 billion live on less than $1 a day
        At least 10% of global food production is lost to plant disease
Plant pathologists cannot ignore the juxtaposition of these figures.
 
Virtually all undernourished people live in the developing countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America. Hunger and poverty are inextricably linked and the solution does not rely on one factor, but on an interrelated complex of factors that includes population, technology, policy and social changes.
 
Nevertheless, it is clear that reducing the impact of plant disease can help to alleviate the enormity of the problem of achieving global food security. A vast number of plant pathogens from viroids of a few hundred nucleotides to higher plants cause diseases in our crops. Their effects range from mild symptoms to catastrophes in which large areas planted to food crops are destroyed. Plant diseases threaten our food supplies: adequate resources should be devoted to their control.
 
What are the options for managing plant diseases to improve food security?
 
Six different aspects will be addressed.
 
       PETER SCOTT, International Society for Plant Pathology; RICHARD STRANGE, Birkbeck College, University of London
ISPP and the challenge of food security
       GURDEV KHUSH, World Food Prize Laureate, University of California Davis
Why plant diseases matter to food security
       HARRY EVANS, JIM WALLER, CABI
Globalization and the threat to biosecurity
       JAMES BROWN, John Innes Centre, Norwich
Diversity in plant varieties as a cornerstone of global food security
       FLORENCE WAMBUGU, Africa Harvest Biotech Foundation International; DAVID BAULCOMBE, University of Cambridge
GM as a new tool in the resistance toolbox
       CORRADO CLINI, Global Bioenergy Partnership
Concluding remarks
 
These presentations will be followed by a general discussion to which all are invited to contribute.