CRISIS DE LA CADENA ALIMENTARIA

Hoja informativa del FCC-EMPRES

En esta sección se presentan las actividades básicas del EMPRES del MGCCA, exponiendo programas e iniciativas eficaces que ilustran la función que la FAO desempeña para ayudar a los Estados Miembros a prevenir las plagas y enfermedades transfronterizas de animales y plantas de elevado impacto y las amenazas para la inocuidad alimentaria, así como a prepararse y responder ante las mismas.
En una serie de hojas de información se exponen las iniciativas que la FAO ha presentado y desarrollado, los ámbitos que ha mejorado y, sobre todo, los logros alcanzados respecto de la prevención de situaciones de emergencia que afectan a la cadena alimentaria y respecto de la preparación y la respuesta ante las mismas.

Wheat is the key crop for world food security. It covers the largest area of sowing, and alone supplies almost 20 percent of the calories consumed by the world population. Wheat productivity is crucial to meet the increasing demand for food. Rust diseases are among the main constraints affecting wheat production globally, especially when suitable climatic conditions prevail. Rusts affect almost all wheat producing regions, from the Americas to Australia.

Wheat production in East and North Africa, in the Near East and West, and in Central and South Asia – which account for over 37 percent of total global wheat production area – is severely affected by wheat rust epidemics.

To provide support, FAO continuously reinforces collaboration with its partners to boost countries’ ability to detect and manage these emerging wheat rust races.

The European grapevine moth is an insect pest that develops on more than 200 plant species of various families. It is one of the most serious vineyard pests in the Mediterranean region and southern Europe. In Chile, the European grapevine moth was detected for the first time in the Linderos area of the Metropolitan Region in April 2008. The pest, which is native to Europe, attacks the vineyards and its larvae, causing direct damage by feeding on the grape clusters. This decreases vineyard yields.

The pest’s potential direct economic damage to the production of table grape, wine, blueberries and plums has been estimated at over USD 75 million per year. In addition, indirect costs are associated with the pest control practices adopted by growers and with the additional costs for the postharvest treatments required to export table grapes.

To face this serious threat, the Agricultural and Livestock Service of the Ministry of Agriculture of Chile requested support from IAEA and FAO in developing and field-validating the sterile insect technique (SIT) against the invasive pest. SIT is an important component of the integrated management of the pest, aimed at its suppression and eradication.

Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) is a transboundary animal disease (TAD) notorious for its ability to severely affect, and indeed disrupt, regional and international trade in animals and animal products. However, the burden FMD imposes on developing countries is generally much less known.
In FMD-endemic countries, which are usually developing countries, the disease threatens food security and the livelihoods of smallholders, and prevents animal husbandry sectors from developing their economic potential. In this context, workforce development of veterinary services and animal health professionals is key for early detection, effective management and progressive control of FMD. Many FMD-endemic countries have limited resources to organize and manage training programme on FMD preparedness and control, and to arrange the logistics involved.

To overcome these obstacles, the European Commission for the Control of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (EuFMD) promotes the establishment of regional Virtual Learning Centres (VLCs), in collaboration with FAO Regional and Subregional Offices.

La resistencia a los antimicrobianos los animales y a los vegetales, (RAM) es la capacidad de los microorganismos para resistir ante los medicamentos utilizados para tratar las infecciones. Es una gran amenaza mundial de creciente preocupación para la salud humana y animal. También tiene implicaciones para la inocuidad y seguridad alimentarias, y el bienestar económico de millones de hogares. Las consecuencias sanitarias y económicas de la RAM son potencialmente enormes. Sin embargo, su impacto total sigue siendo difícil de estimar. La FAO está trabajando estrechamente con socios clave como la Organización Mundial de Sanidad Animal (OIE), la Organización Mundial de la Salud (OMS), y otros, en una respuesta global a la amenaza de la RAM.

The Desert Locust (Schistocerca gregaria, DL) is one of the most devastating pests in agriculture. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Central Region area (of the Near East and Horn of Africa) is considered the source of many DL outbreaks. The Horn of Africa is now facing the worst DL crisis in over 25 years, and the most serious in 70 years for Kenya.
The current situation – regarded as an upsurge with the potential to become a regional plague – represents an unprecedented threat to food security and livelihoods in the region.
Established in 1965, the Commission for Controlling the Desert Locust in the Central Region (CRC) plays a key role in enhancing Member Countries’ early preparedness and response capabilities with regard to DL and to address any gaps between calm situations and emergency situations, so that emergencies can be resolved efficiently and effectively.
With regard to the current upsurge, the Commission has been raising the alarm on DL outbreaks since February 2019, and called for a High-Level Desert Locust Emergency Consultative Meeting in July 2019, Cairo, Egypt.

African swine fever (ASF) is a devasting haemorrhagic viral disease affecting domestic and wild pigs. Outbreaks of ASF result in massive losses of swine and pork products, and have economically catastrophic consequences in countries with a developed commercial pig farming sector. The only means to control the disease is through the elimination of infected pig populations and strict control of the movement of animals and pork products. 

In August 2018, ASF was first detected in Asia. The disease was reported in China, the country with the world’s largest inventories of domestic pigs. China is also the world’s leading consumer of pork meat. In Europe and Asia, wild boar have become an epidemiological reservoir for the virus, as the species can contract, carry and spread ASF. FAO supports member countries in ramping up prevention and preparedness efforts and response to outbreaks, to prevent further spreading of the disease.

The stresses of increased transboundary pests and diseases, decreasing soil quality and the uncertainties of climate change mean that establishing detailed agriculture knowledge delivery systems is a critical requirement. Unfortunately, current systems for smallholder farmers, which rely on extension services, are unable to address this requirement. Smallholder farmers typically lack the in-field, in-season knowledge required to make optimal decisions. Such detailed knowledge is called precision agriculture. In particular, precision agriculture consists of the use of ground and aerial sensors to enable in-field, in-season decision-making to maximize yield, which until recently has been associated mainly with farms in high-income countries.

To fill this gap, FAO has partnered with Penn State University and PlantVillage, a public good system that offers in-season, in-field knowledge delivery.

Cassava is the fifth most produced staple food crop in the world, being a basic source of staple food for an estimated 800 million people worldwide. Cassava is grown by smallholder farmers in more than 100 tropical and subtropical countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America. Thanks to its efficient use of water and soil nutrients and tolerance to drought, cassava can produce reasonable yields using limited or no inputs, even in areas with poor soils and unpredictable rainfall. Like other crops, cassava is vulnerable to pests and diseases that can cause heavy yield losses. Of the viral diseases, Cassava mosaic disease (CMD) and Cassava brown streak disease (CBSD) are the most widespread, severely affecting at least 50 percent of cassava crops in Africa. CMD and CBSD pose a serious threat to the food security of 135 million people in Central and East Africa alone. At least half of all plantings in Africa are affected by one of these diseases. Scientists estimate that annually, 15–24 percent (equivalent to approximately 12–23 million tonnes) of the crop is lost due only to CMD in Africa.

The pressure to produce enough food for the world’s ever-growing population has had an impact on agricultural practices worldwide. To ensure and sustain high crop yields, and in response to changing patterns of transboundary insect and fungal infestations driven by climate change, fertilizers and pesticides are widely applied and their use has steadily increased over the years. Inappropriate use of pesticides and newly developed active ingredients in agriculture cause discharges of pollutants (pesticides, fertilizers, etc.) into surface and/or groundwater.
These pollutants can have adverse effects on food safety, human health and the environment and, consequently, affect countries’ economies and trade. Flexible, targeted and cost-effective agricultural management systems are required to avoid potential food crises and emergencies caused both by plant pests and by the high levels of agrochemical inputs needed to control them, and to ensure the continuous production of safe food and the sustainability of the environment in which we live.
To facilitate the implementation and continuous improvement of such systems, laboratory and field analytical services are vital to provide data and feedback on food safety and environmental impact. Working with counterpart institutes in more than 30 countries, the Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture has developed an innovative, resource-effective, integrated analytical approach for pesticide management to help meet these challenges.

Livestock markets are a “hotspot” of disease risk along the value chain as many animals of different origin are combined into a single location. Moreover, as markets occur during periods of high stress for animals (e.g. transport), the need to identify and monitor the risk of disease transmission becomes particularly urgent.
Traditionally, studies documenting the risk of disease spread through livestock markets have mostly been limited to static data gathering efforts and obsolete processing technologies. As a result, the findings rarely have practical significance at the field level, where disease control and prevention actions are applied. In addition, veterinary services are facing increasing pressure from emerging zoonotic and transboundary diseases. As a result, it is becoming increasingly important to prioritize response activities in times of reduced resource allocation.

The Market Profiling Application (MPA) developed by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is an online, dynamic, real-time application to systematically collect, display and analyse epidemiologically relevant market data.

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