Many countries struggle with food shipments being damaged or destroyed by invasive insects and plant disease.
Many countries struggle with food shipments being damaged or destroyed by invasive insects and plant disease. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, between 20% and 40% of global crop production is lost to pests, with plant diseases costing the global economy around $220 billion and invasive insects around $70 billion. The University of Georgia developed technology to identify these pests and is now partnering with a government organization in Central America — OIRSA — to implement this useful tool.
The new license agreement will allow OIRSA, which stands for Organismo Internacional Regional de Sanidad Agropecuaria, to help Central American countries tackle this ongoing problem with food shipments. It also positions them to advance their research in plant pathology, agricultural health and food safety while developing a prompt warning system for agricultural plagues and diseases.
“The importance of the remote, digital-diagnosis system in Mexico, Central America and the Dominican Republic is crucial,” said Raúl Rodas, regional director of quarantine services for OIRSA. “The correct identification of pests, which are detected in cargo, parcel or baggage shipments, not only reduces the risk of pest intrusion and delay times for cargo arrivals, but it also reduces transaction costs for importers and exporters.”
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Image via University of Georgia.