2020 is the Year of Plants
Healthy plants are a source of life, they support ecosystems and provide food.
They play an invaluable role in conserving the environment, forests and biodiversity, and reducing the impact of climate change, the Ministry pointed out.
Plants produce the oxygen we breathe and most of the food we eat. Plant diseases and pests destroy crops, reduce the availability of food and hence increase its price. Currently, up to 40% of the world’s food crops are lost every year due to plant diseases and pests.
Through its 2020 activities performed in cooperation with the Food Safety Administration, the Ministry of Agriculture seeks to familiarise the public with the importance of maintaining healthy plants. “Plants do not have passports and do not take account of immigration requirements, which is why preventing the spread of such organisms is an international problem that requires everyone to take action,” the Ministry wrote in its press release.
Plant diseases and pests, too, are spreading to new areas due to the changed climate conditions, as well as growing international trade and mass travel. New diseases and pests are causing great damage to native plants and the environment, and it is much more effective to protect the plants against them than to implement measures to eradicate them.
The Ministry sees an opportunity in the coming year for the public to learn more about the importance of keeping plants healthy in order to help reduce famine and poverty, protect the environment and increase economic development. “Together we can all keep plants healthy!” the Ministry stressed.