Task Force on Global Food Security
in Torino, Italy, 26 August 2008
the 9th International Congress of Plant Pathology
26 August 2008, 14:00 � 17:00
Conference Centre, Bruxelles Room
Akem - Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, Queensland,
Duveiller - CIMMYT, Mexico, firstname.lastname@example.org
Falloon - New Zealand Institute for Crop & Food Research, Christchurch,
New Zealand, email@example.com
Kato - Professor Emeritus, Kobe,
Moses - Crops Research Institute, Kumasi, Ghana,
Mundt - Oregon State University, USA, firstname.lastname@example.org
Scott - International Society for Plant Pathology, Oxford, UK, email@example.com
Strange - Birkbeck College London, UK, firstname.lastname@example.org;
INTRODUCTION AND PLAN FOR THE MEETING
Scott welcomed participants and gave a brief background on the aims
of the Task Force, which were to continue the Activities initiated at ICPP
1998, followed by the first Workshop o f the Task Force held in Bangkok in 1999
and then the Task Force meeting during ICPP2003 in Christchurch.
reviewing the five
current Activities of the Task Force, the meeting would focus on new
initiatives and plans for the future.
REVIEW OF RECENT INITIATIVES, GROUPED UNDER THE FIVE ACTIVITIES
1: Changing Public Policy and Opinions on Global Food Security
the practice initiated at ICPP 1998 and continued at ICPP 2003, a Public
Discussion Forum on
Pathology and Global Food Security had been organized at ICPP 2008, chaired by
the President, Richard Falloon. The contributions were:
Scott and Richard Strange: ISPP and the challenge of food security
Khush: The R. Glenn Anderson Lecture on World Food Security: Why plant diseases
matter to food security
Evans and Jim Waller: Globalization and the threat to biosecurity
Brown: Diversity in plant varieties as a cornerstone of global food security
Wambugu, James Onsando and Thomas Hohn: GM as a new tool in the resistance
other events that had
taken place under this Activity were briefly recalled by Peter Scott:
Statement on Biotechnology during 1st Asian Conference on Plant
Pathology, 2000 in Beijing
Workshop during the Beijing Conference in 2000
Food Summit Submission, Rome 2002
event with Entomological Society of America, in 2002.
was proposed that the Policy Statement on Biotechnology should be reviewed and
the Executive Committee be asked to consider reissuing the statement in support
of biotechnology as part of ICPP 2008.
was agreed that the Task Force should maintain momentum by using any opportunity
or upcoming event to raise awareness of the role of plant pathology in global
food security. The Potato Conference coming up in New Zealand would be a good
venue. It was also suggested that an evening session be planned for the upcoming
Beijing conference during which the Task Force could focus on success stories
coming out of plant disease work from some of the CGIAR centres such as CIP,
CIMMYT, and ICRISAT that have made an impact.
2: Enhanced PhD training for plant pathology in developing countries
Strange summarized progress under this Activity, which is the subject of a report
during discussions on the Activity were:
difficulties in securing funds to finance MS and PhD students.
need to uplift and raise this through relevant governments in developing
comments from the survey conducted were not very positive about plant pathology.
problem was highlighted but no solutions were suggested.
is an issue with many students not returning to their countries after their
we encourage more in-country research field work so that those trained in the
West could return?
Strange was asked to summarise a paragraph on the web on where we are on this
activity and the way forward.
ISPP look for funding to try and support PhD studies for a 3-year period from
PhD studies be included as part of the Congress Challenge? The feeling was that
this would dilute the Challenge Programme.
general feeling was that the Society should set up a scholarship fund programme
for students from developing countries to be funded for their PhD studies. This
would require additional funding from outside sources.
3: Quantification of the economic impact of some major diseases
Strange reported the publication of
�Plant disease: a threat to global food security� in Annual Review of Phytopathology (Strange
and Scott 2005).
was made to available rice yield loss data which should be published and linked
ACTIVITY 4: Congress Challenge
Project 2003: Development of Appropriate
Strategies to Control Cassava Diseases in Ghana
2003, linked to the 8th ICPP in Christchurch, a competitive Challenge
Programme had been initiated and a call was issued for project proposals to
enable plant pathology to contribute to the challenge of global food security.
ISPP allocated $50,000 to the Programme over 3 years.
project, from the Crops Research Institute, Kumasi, Ghana, was led by
Emmanuel Moses. He was attending the 9th ICPP at the invitation of
ISPP. He had described the project at the first Keynote Session of the Congress.
Moses recalled that the purpose of the project was to develop, within 3 years,
appropriate strategies to control cassava diseases in Ghana, with an emphasis on
training farmers to understand that disease limits their production, and then to
recognize and manage the diseases that affected their crops.
project focused on what could be done in practical terms to help farmers to
understand how they can grow better crops by demonstrating good practices in the
field and by talking to them and their families in group sessions.
of the project contain some striking quotations, such as these:
rarely occurs where cassava is grown.
farmers in Ghana have little or no awareness of plant diseases.
wanted healthy planting materials, so Community Multiplication Fields were
third one was set in the context of appreciation of ISPP's contribution to local
farming, and looks to the prospect of an ongoing legacy of the project.
project had also delivered an illustrated booklet, Guide
to Identification and Control of Cassava Diseases,
with descriptions of all the major diseases of cassava that reduce yield in most
parts of Sub-Saharan Africa.
of the project were personally summarized by Emmanuel Moses. One of the
beneficiary villages was reported to be planning to make him a sub-chief. The
project may be considered for a Presidential Award in Ghana.
5: Development of the ISPP Website
Williamson had been appointed as ISPP�s Business Manager and he had become the
webmaster. The website had been redesigned and had grown considerably. The programme
of the Task Force featured prominently. The website was expected to develop
further with the coming of the new Journal.
New Challenge Project 2007
15 proposals, ISPP Executive Committee selected the one entitled �Changing
Public Perceptions and Opinions on Global Food Security� from Professor
Lise Korsten of the University of Pretoria.
had presented these objectives of the project:
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.
3-year, US$50,000 project was to be initiated immediately. A poster at ICPP 2008
in the ISPP booth described the project.
Journal of Food Security
receiving the support of the Executive Committee in September 2007, Richard
Strange and Peter Scott, as members of the Task Force, had progressed the
project to develop a new journal, on behalf of the Advisory
Board of 15 distinguished people:
- Professor of Biological and Integrated Plant Disease Management, Universit�
degli Studi di Torino. Vice-President, International Society for Plant
Pathology. Chair, 9th International Congress of Plant Pathology, 2008.
- World Food Prize Laureate; Senior
Research Fellow, WorldFish Center; Vice-President, Asian Fisheries Society
Professor, Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow; Fellow
of the Royal Society of Edinburgh; Former Director, Royal Botanic Garden
Crop Production & Environment Division, Japan International Research Center
for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS)
- World Food Prize Laureate; Adjunct
Professor of Plant Sciences, University of California Davis; Former
Principal Plant Breeder, International Rice Research Institute (IRRI)
- Former Department Head, RIKILT
- Institute of Food Safety, Wageningen; Chair,
GMO Panel, European Food Safety Authority
- Adjunct Professor in Forest Resources Management, University of British
Columbia; Former Assistant Director-General, FAO
- Professor of Soil Science, Ohio State University; Director, Carbon Management
and Sequestration Center; President, Soil Science Society of America
- Principal, SAC; Fellow of the Royal Agricultural Societies; formerly
President, Society for the Study of Animal Breeding; formerly Council Member,
British Veterinary Association.
- Former Director General, Africa Rice Center (WARDA)
- Biotechnology advisor
to the World Bank, Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR),
and Asian Development Bank (ADB).
- World Food Prize Laureate; Babcock Professor of Food, Nutrition and Public
Policy, Cornell University; Former Director General, International Food Policy
Research Institute (IFPRI)
- Director General, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI);
of Public Health Nutrition, University of Southampton
the six approaches to publishers made by Gurdev Khush on behalf of the Advisory
Board, the one most positively received was to Springer.
consultation with the Executive Committee, and the Advisory Board, Peter Scott
and Richard Strange visited Springer's journal publishing business in The
Netherlands in March 2008 and had several conference calls with them.
Publishing Agreement was negotiated with these key elements:
new quarterly journal, Food Security: The
Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, is
to be launched in the first quarter of 2009, in print and online.
is jointly owned in equal shares by ISPP and Springer. Springer is responsible
for publishing, and bears all the costs; ISPP is responsible for content and
editorial matters. It will be presented as an official journal of ISPP.
from May 2010, ISPP receives a royalty of 20% of Journal Net Revenue
(essentially, income to the publisher from sales).
annual subscription for libraries and institutions is EUR 350. For ISPP Members
and Associated Society Members it is EUR 30 (of which EUR 5 comes to ISPP for
administrative costs). Readers in developing countries can access it through
Springer Developing Countries Initiatives such as AGORA, HINARI and OARE.
Agreement is for 15 years. It can be extended or cancelled at a year's notice.
brief, the journal seeks to address the constraints - physical, biological and
socio-economic - which not only limit food production but also the ability of
people to access a healthy diet. These come under the following headings:
mismatch between population and the ability to provide adequate nutrition
constraints to satisfying global food needs
Desertification, Water supply, Flooding, Soil inadequacies and degradation,
constraints to satisfying global food needs
Plant disease, Animal disease, Poor husbandry practices
food quality and food safety
constraints to satisfying global food needs
agricultural and food policy, Access to food, Financial policy, International
relations and trade, Wars and ethnic unrest
journal will consist principally of original refereed papers, taking a synthetic
view of the science, sociology and economics of food production, agricultural
development, access to food and nutrition. Other articles will be reviews, case
studies and letters to the editor. The
journal will cover the principles and practice of food security per
se, taking an overview of the
subject or analysing it with a broad perspective over its many component
disciplines, but avoiding duplicating the coverage of these disciplines provided
by the sharper focus of other publications.
had appointed Richard Strange to be Editor-in-Chief. He is Honorary Professor,
University College London and Honorary Research Fellow, Birkbeck College,
University of London. His appointment has Springer's agreement. He will
establish the Editorial Board.
towards the first issue
had announced the journal on ISPPweb,
and in the Newsletter and
the Advisory Board, Nobel Peace Laureate Norman Borlaug had prepared a contribution
for the first issue, commending the journal and the part played by plant
pathologists in developing it.
had prepared a flyer which was being used in their marketing programmes. The
journal is featured on the Springer
Editor-in-Chief was seeking contributions to early issues of the journal. He
was noted in discussion that the journal could be linked on the Web to records
likely to affect food security
journal would be a source of extra income for the Society, and this could be
used to fund other activities such as the scholarships discussed earlier.
number of questions were raised:
the Society go out and actively solicit funds for the Challenge Programme and a
we identify someone with the capability to coordinate fund raising?
President of ISPP should take a lead, and discussion should follow with her.
FAO website has listed meetings on Climate Change and Food Security. Could these
Review of Task Force activities
was agreed that Activities 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 should remain as an adequate
description of the programme of the Task Force.
Membership of the Task Force
was a need to check the current membership
list to confirm that members wish to continue to be part of the Task Force.
meeting would be scheduled during ICPP 2013.
earlier opportunity to meet could arise. For example, the next Asian Regional
Conference of Plant Pathology is in Darwin in 2011, and the Executive Committee
of ISPP may meet then.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
Moses agreed to determine when the next African Union meeting of Heads of States
will be held. Peter Scott would be alerted, to assess the possibility of making
Force members commended the Chairperson, Peter Scott, and Editor-in-Chief,
Richard Strange, for their activities, especially in establishing the journal Food
meeting finished at 5 pm.