Cookies on CABI

Like most websites we use cookies. This is to ensure that we give you the best experience possible.

Continuing to use means you agree to our use of cookies. If you would like to, you can learn more about the cookies we use.

Search this site
Sign up for the CABI e-zine Newsletter
Improving lives by solving problems in agriculture and the environment

Biosecurity experts come together to boost Africa’s trade

Biosecurity experts come together to boost Africa’s trade

13 September 2016 - Working together to boost regional trade and food security, 35 African biosecurity champions from ten Central and East African countries met on 5-9 September 2016 in Nairobi, Kenya for the third Africa Plant Biosecurity Network workshop.

The Network brings African biosecurity professionals from Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe together to share information, provide ongoing mentoring, and boost training and outreach. The aim is to improve national and regional plant biosecurity, lifting crop yields and enabling safe trade.

George Ngundo Wabere is a Laboratory Manager at the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS). Talking about his experience of the network, he says, “The AAPBP has been of enormous personal and professional benefit to me. I have been able to use novel diagnostic technologies learnt in Australia to improve testing of imported plants.”

Bellancile Uzayisenga is Head of the Crop Protection Programme under the Rwanda Agriculture Board. She says, "I still have good memories of my placement at Plant Health Australia and I am already applying this knowledge in Rwanda."

Regional trade formed an important part of the workshop. Champions developed new skills in meeting international standards, negotiation of import conditions and understanding the biosecurity aspects of bulk grain imports. Post-entry quarantine, for example, is an important part of border security that can help maintain trade while keeping out pests and diseases of concern.

The Network workshop ran over five days, beginning with a focus on pest and disease diagnostics, especially the use of new molecular techniques that promise faster and more accurate identification.

The workshop also included field trips to the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS), and to Biosciences East and Central Africa (BECA).

An initiative of the Australia-Africa Plant Biosecurity Partnership, the Africa Plant Biosecurity Network is led by 15 Senior Biosecurity Fellows who have undertaken plant protection training in Australia and Africa, and are passing on their skills and knowledge to 30 Associate Fellow colleagues.

Dr Michael Robinson, CEO of Australia’s Plant Biosecurity Cooperative Research Centre (PBCRC), said, “The Network helps us share new techniques and lets the champions acquire new pest identification skills. It offers really practical support. For example, participants can pick up the phone and talk to colleagues in other countries, who can answer a question about a particular pest.”

The Australia-Africa Plant Biosecurity Partnership is led by Australia’s Plant Biosecurity CRC and funded by the AIFSRC within ACIAR and CABI. The programme is being delivered by a consortium of the Plant Biosecurity CRC, ACIAR, CABI and the Crawford Fund.

For more information about the Australia-Africa Plant Biosecurity Partnership (AAPBP), see our project page and watch the AAPBP video.

Image: Biosecurity champions visit Biosciences East and Central Africa (BECA), ©PBCRC

For all our latest news, click here

Boosting coffee productivity in Kenya and Malawi

Although coffee is a high-value commodity and a major contributor to the economies of Kenya and Malawi, many smallholder producers remain poor because of low productivity. CABI scientists will help improve this situation by working with research institutions and assisting them to adopt modern tissue culture-based technologies to rapidly produce... >>

Africa soil health

Poor soil fertility is a key constraint to improving farm productivity and livelihoods in sub-Saharan Africa. It is now widely recognized that increased fertilizer use, integrated with other soil fertility management practises is the way forward. The Africa Soil Health Consortium (ASHC) brings together experts in soil health, and we bring... >>

Optimizing Fertilizer Recommendations in Africa (OFRA)

Soil fertility across much of sub-Saharan Africa is poor, which is a major constraint to improving farm productivity and farmer livelihoods. To combat this there is now wide recognition of the need to integrate increased fertilizer use with other aspects of soil fertility management. This project aims to contribute to improved efficiency and... >>

Guaranteeing credit to coffee farmers in Ethiopia and Rwanda

Coffee is one of the largest traded commodities in the world, providing livelihoods for 25 million farming families, and is crucial to many countries’ GDP. In places such as Ethiopia and Rwanda, coffee plays a critical role in the economy and revitalising coffee production and quality is vital; allowing farmers to attract premiums and improve... >>

Improving SPS training and knowledge sharing in cocoa (CocoaSafe)

Cocoa is an important source of income across Southeast Asia. To maintain access to markets, and sustain farmers’ livelihoods and national GDP, all food safety and international SPS (sanitary and phytosanitary) standards must be met. This project is building SPS capacity in the region, to ensure production and trade meets legislation on pesticide... >>

Promoting good seed in East Africa

African Indigenous Vegetables (AIVs) are key to food security and income generation in Africa and are increasing in demand. Not only will CABI’s project team be promoting their consumption and generating more demand, we will also be building awareness of the vegetable and the seeds, improving access to them and developing new varieties. >>

Improved management strategies for cocoa in Papua New Guinea

Cocoa is a highly important export in Papua New Guinea, 80% of which comes from smallholders dependent on it for their livelihoods. But, production is threatened by the cocoa pod borer. Tricky to control, it is now one of the most serious threats to the global cocoa industry. We are developing effective ways to detect and predict infestations such... >>