Each year, up to 40 percent of global crop production is lost to plant pests and diseases, costing the global economy over USD 220 billion, whilst invasive insects cause losses of at least USD 70 billion, according to estimates by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations
Seed born disease is one of the risk factors and a side event at the conference is to be organised by the International Grain Trade Coalition (IGTC), International Grains Council (IGC), The Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF) & the International Seed Federation (ISF) with Jack Metzelaar, Vice-Chair ISF CG Phyto, Director of Industry Relations, Limagrain Group as one of the industry representatives.
The International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) has produced a framework for 2020–2030 outlining recommendations for phytosanitary measures to control plant diseases.
These International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPMs) guide countries in setting measures to prevent or limit the entry, establishment and spread of pests that may otherwise have serious impacts on the world’s plant resources.
Novel technologies, such as plasma agriculture offer the potential for chemical-free treatment of seeds to remove pathogens such as fungi and bacteria. Zayndu's Aurora is gaining interest worldwide as way of disinfecting seeds in Controlled Environments and Vertical Farms. As capacity increases to accommodate greater quantities of seed it will have the potential to offer an alternative chemical-free approach to seed hygiene.
The International Plant Health conference is co-organised by FAO, the Secretariat of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).