CABI is sharing its expertise along the agricultural value chain as part of the UK government-funded One Food programme aimed at implementing a ‘One Health’ approach to sustainable food systems in South Africa.
The One Food programme is codeveloped by the UK Government’s Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) and Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), together with the South African Government.
CABI, through the Global Burden of Crop Loss (GBCL) project, is partnering with the Global Burden of Animal Diseases (GBADs) project to illustrate the impact of selected biotic and abiotic hazards on the maize and poultry value-chain sectors in South Africa.
The ‘One Health’ concept builds on the interdisciplinary food systems approach and involves sustainably balancing the health of the environment, people, and food sources (animals and crops/plants).
It also considers how all three elements are needed for the most effective food production systems while being mindful of the challenges posed by climate change.
The GBCL initiative is aiming to provide actionable, and data driven evidence on the magnitude and factors contributing to crop losses to enable the global plant health community to make informed decisions related to improving food security and trade.
Meanwhile, the GBADs project led by the University of Liverpool aims to measure animal health burdens and their impacts on human lives and economies.
Cambria Finegold, CABI’s Global Director, Digital Development, said, “Our food systems are so interconnected that breaking down sectoral silos and taking a holistic approach is the only way to effectively tackle crop and livestock losses and reduce the impacts they have on human and environmental health.”
She added that understanding and reducing these losses across all sectors of our food systems is critical to achieving humanity’s food security and environmental goals.
CABI, as part of the partnership with the GBADs, will conduct a comprehensive baseline assessment to evaluate the current socio-economic status of maize and the key hazards affecting the value chains in South Africa including their interconnections and hazards.
Professor Jonathon Rushton, the Director and OneFood Principal Investigator at GBADs, said, “This collaboration represents a significant step forward toward a unified assessment of the burdens which impact the crop and livestock sectors, which are traditionally segregated.
“Through our interdisciplinary research, we can facilitate informed policy decisions for cost-effective mitigation of hazards, enabling us to meet rising global food demands and minimising negative impacts of the food system on public health and the environment in the process.”
Main image: Recent team day photo hosted in Liverpool with representatives from CABI, the Global Burden of Animal Diseases Team (GBADs), the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), and the Centre for Environment, Fisheries, and Aquaculture Science (Cefas).
For more information about the Global Burden of Crop Loss visit: https://croploss.org/ and to discover more about the Global Burden of Animal Diseases go to https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/infection-veterinary-and-ecological-sciences/research/groups/gbads/
See also the APHA Science Blog ‘One Food for One Health.’