International Society for Plant Pathology
Promoting World-Wide Plant Health and Food Security
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Dear Dr. Strange,

As a plant pathologist, I found the comments and suggestions on the above topic interesting. It is, however, unfortunate that many people did not complete the questionnaire to enable you draw objective conclusions.

My comments are that:

1. Funding for training personnel in the field of crop protection generally, and plant pathology in particular continues to decline. There are more funds for non-agricultural related areas than in agriculture. If we recognise the contribution of crop protection and plant pathologist to global food production and its spiral effect on sustainability of the environment, then we need to change this trend.

2. The trend in modern science is molecular approach to solving problems. Unfortunately, laboratories in DCs are not equipped to enable plant pathologists trained in developed countries put the knowledge and expertise in to practice. Some students never return to their home countries because they cannot practise what they have learnt. There are a lot of equipments and materials that can be transferred from developed countries to laboratories in DCs to enable scientists practice what they have learned. Is this an option worth pursuing? Aid to DCs can be in the form of equipping laboratories or provision of laboratory consumables.

3. We should also encourage "sandwich" training programmes and topics that are of direct relevance to DCs. Short term training (technical staff) should also be encouraged.

I hope this contribution will be useful. We can discuss this further if you find it necessary.

Best regards

Andrews Y. Akrofi
Cocoa Research Institue of Ghana
P. O. Box 8
Akim Tafo.