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.