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FOOD CHAIN CRISIS

FCC-EMPRES Information Sheet

This section introduces FCC–EMPRES core activities through successful programs and initiatives that illustrate FAO’s role in supporting member countries to prevent, prepare and respond to transboundary, high impact animal and plant pests and diseases and food safety threats.
A series of information sheets showcases what FAO has introduced and developed, what it has improved and, most of all, what it has achieved in prevention, preparedness, and response to emergencies affecting the food chain.

Wheat is the most widely grown crop globally and a source of food and livelihoods for over 1 billion people in many developing countries. Rust diseases are historically the most damaging diseases of wheat. Their frequency, extent and impact has increased significantly in the last two decades causing global concerns. Their high capacity of developing new races makes most wheat varieties vulnerable to them. FAO is continuously re-enforcing its collaboration with partners to enhance countries’ capacities in prevention and preparedness to rust diseases.

In all regions of the world, livelihoods of people are sustained partially or entirely by the livestock sector. Livestock contribute approximately 40 percent of the global value of agricultural output and support the livelihoods and food security of almost a 1.3 billion people. Supporting efforts to reduce the risk of transboundary threats to animal and public health is critical.

Global disease intelligence and early warning, supported by science-based risk assessment are key to inform decisions, actions, and timely communication between agencies and sectors responsible for human health, animal health, wildlife, and food safety.

Peste des petits ruminants (PPR) is a destructive, fast spreading viral disease that kills sheep and goats (small ruminants) and devastates livelihoods throughout most of Africa, the Middle East, West, Central and South Asia, and most recently East Asia. The PPR situation is dynamic and threatening. In 2016, the disease was reported for the first time in Georgia and Mongolia. FAO and OIE, in consultation with key stakeholders, developed a five-year Global Eradication Programme 2017-2021.

Invasive alien species (IAS) have become a serious threat to the productivity of forest plantations in many parts of the world. In Zimbabwe, there are three new invasive insects species on Eucalyptus plantations - bronze bug, blue gum chalcid, and red gum lerp psyllid - that are presently causing devastating damages to the Eucalyptus trees in the country. In order to control invasive alien insect species of Eucalyptus and prevent current and future pest incursions, FAO provides technical assistance to the country for the implementation of integrated forest pest management practices.

LOCUSTS are a serious threat to agro-pastoral resources, food security and livelihoods in Africa and Asia where they can have major economic, social and environmental impacts. Effective early response to locust infestations and their management relies on having well established and tested contingency plans before a locust emergency develops.

Transboundary animal diseases (terrestrial and aquatic), plant pests and diseases (agriculture and forest plants) and food safety hazards, are raising public awareness for their potential impact on food and nutrition security, human health, livelihoods, and trade. The ability to predict FCC threats through a forecasting process is imperative for Governments to act quickly by taking necessary measures to prevent these threats, limit their geographic spread and minimize their impact. To address this challenge, FAO Food Chain Crisis-Intelligence and Coordination Unit (FCC-ICU) developed an Integrated Forecasting Approach.

Fusarium Wilt Disease is caused by the soil-borne fungus Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense and is one of the most destructive diseases of banana worldwide. Its new race Tropical Race 4 (Foc TR4) has been causing serious losses in Southeast Asia and severely affecting livelihoods of small producers. It has recently spread to Africa (Mozambique) and some countries of the Middle East. This is raising concerns that it might also spread to the Indian Sub-continent and Latin America.

In July 1965, the 44th session of the Council of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) approved the establishment of the COMMISSION FOR CONTROLLING THE DESERT LOCUST IN THE CENTRAL REGION (CRC) based on recommendations by the 11th FAO Conference session (1961) and a Special Conference held in Beirut (1965). The agreement came into force on 21 February 1967. The CRC covers Northeast Africa and the Near East and comprises 16 member countries: Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

Accidental or malicious releases of radioactive material have the potential to threaten health and disrupt life. Experience has shown that communities, agricultural production and food trade can be affected by major accidents. Such events may have international or even global consequences, therefore, it is important to prepare and make arrangements for dealing with them. The the Joint FAO/IAEA Division serves as the focal point for cooperation by channelling information, supporting efforts and providing its services.

The FAO Commission for controlling the Desert Locust in the Western Region (CLCPRO) strengthens national capacities of locust-affected countries in West and Northwest Africa in planning, training, research and effective and timely response to Desert Locust invasions in order to prevent upsurges and plagues. The Commission contributes significantly to food and livelihoods security in northern Africa through its regional approach in preventing serious damage that locusts can inflict on pastures and agricultural production in the concerned member countries.

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