Today, the world is observing the International Day of Plant Health. 12 May was declared International Plant Health Day by the United Nations.

This was done to increase global awareness about how plant health may aid in the fight against hunger. It was also established with the goals of lessening poverty, protecting biodiversity and the environment, and promoting economic development.

The Day is one of the most important outcomes of the International Year of Plant Health 2020. Zambia championed the celebration, which is held on May 12, and the UN General Assembly solidly endorsed it.

Bolivia, Finland, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Tanzania were among the signatories to the resolution. According to the resolution, healthy plants are the cornerstone of all life on Earth.

Farmer hand holding a fresh young plant. Symbol of new life and environmental conservation.

It serves as a foundation for ecological functions as well as food security and nutrition. According to the report, plant health is also important for the sustainable development of agriculture required to feed a growing global population by 2050.

Beth Bechdol, Deputy Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) underscored that the International Day of Plant Health is an opportunity to emphasize the critical relevance of plant health.

The significance is both in and of itself, as part of the FAO’s health strategy, which includes human, animal, and ecological health.

It is critical that nations and organizations raise the food resources available in the world. Plant pests and diseases, according to the FAO, cause up to 40% of crop losses.

They cause disorder in agriculture, worsening the problem of rising global hunger and risking rural livelihoods. Dealing with plant health crises is significantly more costly than protecting plants from pests and diseases.

Plant pests and diseases are difficult to remove once they have been established. Managing them takes a lot of effort and money. Plant health must be maintained in the face of global problems.

This boosts livelihoods and economic growth while also promoting food security and nutrition. Jingyuan Xia, Director of the FAO’s Plant Production and Protection Division, claimed this.

Objectives of the International Day of Plant Health
  • The objectives include increasing awareness of the importance of keeping plants healthy to achieve the UN 2030 Agenda, particularly SDG 2 (Zero Hunger).
  • Campaigning to minimize the risk of spreading plant pests through trade and travel by triggering compliance with international plant health standards.
  • Strengthening monitoring and early warning systems to protect plants and plant health.
  • Enabling sustainable pest and pesticide management to keep plants healthy while protecting the environment.
  • Promoting investment in plant health innovations, research, capacity development, and outreach.

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