- USDA Under Secretary Jenny Lester Moffitt announced new partnerships at Tanzania’s Africa Food Systems Forum.
- The USDA’s APHIS is collaborating with the World Organization of Animal Health (WOAH) to improve African animal health infrastructure.
- The USDA also partners with the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization and the African Union to launch the Africa Phytosanitary Program.
- The program aims to provide advanced tools to manage significant plant pests and diseases, with an initial investment of $750,000 for a pilot phase in 11 countries.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is strengthening its commitment to enhancing African plant and animal health. Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, Jenny Lester Moffitt made this announcement at the Africa Food Systems Forum held this week in Tanzania.
Strengthening Animal Health
Under Secretary Moffitt revealed that the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is collaborating with the World Organization of Animal Health (WOAH) to bolster African animal health infrastructure. This partnership aims to create tools for the early detection of emerging zoonotic infections in wildlife, harmonize animal health processes, standardize methods for managing sensitive trade issues, and minimize disruptions in the food supply chain.
Launching the Africa Phytosanitary Program
In addition to animal health, the USDA is partnering with the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization’s International Plant Protection Convention and the African Union to establish the Africa Phytosanitary Program. This initiative will equip national plant protection organizations with advanced, science-based approaches to prevent, detect, and manage significant plant pests and diseases.
“Plant pests undermine crop production and cause losses between 30-60 percent annually in Africa,” said Under Secretary Moffitt. “The need for effective pest management strategies is critical.”
Financial Commitment and Future Goals
APHIS has invested $750,000 in financial and in-kind expertise and time to develop pest surveillance protocols, electronic data collection and reporting tools, and training materials and to conduct training for 11 countries during this first-year pilot phase. The ultimate goal is to expand the program to all 54 African countries by 2026.
Image provided by USDA