Within the framework of assistance to developing countries, FAO plays an important role as a catalyst of scientific and institutional resources, in developing synergies among governments and institutions and in coordinating efforts for the effective implementation of projects on the management of weeds. This implementation takes place mainly through the collaboration of FAO with other institutions.
Collaboration with experienced institutions in the control of aquatic weeds - such as CABI, CSIRO, IITA, the Plant Protection Research Institute of Pretoria, South Africa, the University of Florida and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) - is a key component in the implementation of FAO projects aiming at pest control and food security. This approach is also necessary (a) to take full advantage of the international, specific knowledge and expertise; (b) to make available and maximise the efficiency in the use of inputs - such as biological control agents - also sharing resources and facilities; (c) for the use of the state-of-the-art techniques; and (d) for a sound solution of problems. This important collaboration has taken place in the form of technical consultancies of specialists, the provision of biological control agents and the convening of meetings of experts on the control of specific weeds.
Among these activities, a significant contribution came from the international expert consultation that FAO convened in September 1995 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to discuss strategies for Water Hyacinth control. This consultation was organized in close cooperation with the University of Florida and USDA. Twenty-one experts attended, the problems/solutions for specific countries and regions of Africa were discussed and a strategy for integrated Water Hyacinth control was developed. Another main activity of the collaborative work has been the capacity-building at national level and the training of local personnel before conducing the field work for the implementation of the control strategies developed.