Africa to host global conference on plant viral disease in 2013…meeting to draw strategy to tackle virus diseases

Scientists from across the world will gather in Arusha, Tanzania, for the 12th International Plant Virus Epidemiology (IPVE) symposium between January 28 and 1 February 2013. The meeting will provide researchers a platform to share the latest knowledge, brainstorm and draw a road map to contain the spread of plant virus diseases.

Tanzanian Farmers

Tanzanian Farmers

The conference, with the theme: “Evolution, Ecology and Control of Plant Viruses,” is coming at a time when the battle against plant virus diseases is becoming more complex and the need for food security is demanding more global attention. This is the first time the meeting is taking place in Africa.

Dr Sanginga Nteranya, the Director General of the International Institute of Agriculture (IITA), one of the co-organizers of the workshop, notes the significance of holding the meeting in Africa where plant viruses of key staple crops, driven by a climate that is getting warmer, are spreading rapidly to new places, frustrating efforts to boost the food security and livelihoods of millions of people.

“Africa is currently struggling with a wave of viral diseases among its key staple food crops that are rapidly spreading to new areas. These include the deadly cassava brown streak, banana bunchy top disease, rice yellow mottle, and maize streak virus, among others.

“Poor small-holder farmers–who are majority of the population and of the food growers, with their limited resources are bearing the brunt of these virus diseases. They are least able to invest in inputs such as pesticides and herbicides and improved disease-resistant varieties,” he said. “We need science-based solutions to these challenges.”

Dr Lava Kumar, IITA Virologist and Head of Germplasm Health Unit, explains that the symposium will focus on and examine the emergence, epidemiology, and control of native and new virus diseases.

“Researchers will reflect on the prevailing situation of virus diseases in Africa and around the world that are not only ravaging crop production but also affecting the international exchange of germplasm and commerce,” he adds.

According to him, the symposium will provide a forum for exchange of latest knowledge and technologies to control virus diseases and pave the way for an African and global strategy to combat emerging and re-emerging plant virus diseases. Renowned virologists from over 40 countries are going to attend this event.

The symposium will take place at the Ngurdoto Mountain Lodge, which is located between Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru in Arusha, Tanzania; and is about 40 minutes’ drive from Kilimanjaro International Airport.

The meeting will be co-organized by IITA, Mikocheni Agricultural Research Institute in Tanzania, the National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) of Uganda, AVRDC—The World Vegetable Center, and  West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF)(spell out) under the auspices of the International Committee on Plant Virus Epidemiology (ICPVE). In the past, the United Kingdom, Australia, United States, France, Italy, Israel, Spain, Peru, Germany, and India played host to IPVE meetings.

The IPVE is a specialist committee on plant virus epidemiology of the International Society of Plant Pathology (ISPP). The IPVE
Committee has previously conducted 11 international symposia in different parts of the world.

© 2012, Submitted by Catherine Njuguna. All rights reserved. – The views expressed here are purely those of the author and not necessarily those of the publishers. – Newstime Africa content cannot be reproduced in any form – electronic or print – without prior consent of the Publishers. Copyright infringement will be pursued and perpetrators prosecuted.

1,060 total views, 7 views today

Comments