Issue /

How can you help protect the health of our plants?

Image Description: silhouettes of superheroes flying around giant plants, saving them. End description. Image Description: smaller image of silhouettes of superheroes flying around giant plants, saving them. End description.

The United Nations has declared 2020 as the International Year of Plant Health (IYPH). In this article, we’ll find out more about why plants are so important, how communicable plant pathogens and pests are damaging their health, and what we can all do to help protect them.

Healthy plants are crucial for ending hunger and achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Who would have thought that plants make up 80 percent of the food we eat, produce 98 percent of the oxygen we breathe? Yet these plants are under constant attack from pests and diseases which destroy up to 40 percent of food crops every year and are responsible for agricultural trade losses of over US dollar 220 billion annually. The Food and Agricultural Office (FAO) estimates that agricultural production must rise by about 60 percent by 2050 in order to feed a larger and generally richer population.

The full article is only available to subscribers. Sign up now for complete access to all of our articles.

Subscribe here

Subscribe for the latest articles on cutting-edge science, interviews and new research written by leading academics. Full access available 28th October.

Subscribe now
Lost your password? Please enter your username or email address. You will receive a link to create a new password via email.
Asset 4

Charles Lane
Plant Health and Biosecurity Consultant

Icon: Learning Notes

Learning resource

We have created learning notes to assist students and educators to further investigate the topics covered in this article. You can download the learning resource here »

Explore other articles