The Department of Agriculture, Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) welcomes the announcement by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly of the adoption (29 March 2022) of the resolution proclaiming the May 12 International Plant Health Day (IDPH).
The Department sees this as a positive step towards solving the problem of world hunger, as plant pests and diseases cause massive crop losses and leave millions of people without an adequate food supply. This day is a key legacy of the International Year of Plant Health (IYPH), which was celebrated in 2020-2021. This important and enduring legacy of the IYPH will enable all relevant stakeholders to continue the effort to raise public awareness of the importance of health. South Africa joins countries around the world in celebrating plant health as part of recognizing the importance of plants to human health; animal health; environmental protection and biodiversity; and socio-economic, agricultural and rural development.
Building on the achievements of the International Year of Plant Health, the IDPH pursues five specific objectives:
- Raise awareness of the importance of keeping plants healthy to achieve the UN 2030 Agenda, in particular Sustainable Development Goal 2 (Zero Hunger).
- Ensure safe trade by complying with international phytosanitary standards.
- Strengthening early warning systems for early detection and response to plant pests.
- Enable sustainable pest and pesticide management to keep plants healthy while protecting the environment.
- Promote investment in phytosanitary innovations, capacity development, research and awareness.
As part of the celebration of this important day, interested actors or organizations are encouraged to organize IDPH events in the form of marathons, concerts, performances, exhibitions, roadshows, peasant forums, fairs or tree planting ceremonies; organize public lectures and organize panel discussions or panel discussions with government officials, educators, scientists, farmers, traditional healers, community members and private sector representatives.
To all international travelers and traders, you are urged to avoid the illegal importation of plants and plant products and to declare plants and plant products at ports before entering the country. At the national level, individuals should refrain from moving regulated host plants and quarantine plant products to non-quarantine areas without a collection permit. Farmers should adopt sustainable pest management practices as part of plant health protection. Ensuring plant health is a shared responsibility among all of us.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development: Republic of South Africa.
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