First EU reference laboratories in Slovenia
This year is the International Year of Plant Health.
It was introduced in order to highlight the importance of healthy plants. Plant health care should be in the regional, national and global interest, emphasised Aleksandra Pivec, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food, during the event on plant health in the National Assembly. She is aware that this requires adequate policies and measures against pests and diseases. In Slovenia, reference laboratories play an important expert and scientific role in ensuring safe plants.
Plants are the foundation of life, presenting 80% of the food we eat and producing 98% of the oxygen we breathe. According to recent scientific research, up to 40% of food crops are lost due to plant pests and diseases annually, causing damage of around 220 billion dollars to the global economy.
Slovenia is devoting increasing attention to the field of plant health. Resources allocated to this segment have increased by 50%. Plant health is increasingly considered to be an important element of the "one health" concept – the health of people, animals, plants and environment. This requires extensive knowledge and Slovenia has it. The first EU reference laboratories have been operating at the National Institute of Biology. EU reference laboratories facilitate the prevention of plant diseases from spreading by diagnosing pests and ensure high-quality uniform testing in the EU.