Mexico Backs Agroecological Studies to Combat PestsBy María Fernanda Barría | Thu, 06/10/2021 - 10:05
Increasing global temperature has led to the movement of pests worldwide, costing US$200 billion in annual global losses. In an effort to reverse this unfortunate situation, Mexico has participated in an investigation elaborated by a non-profit organization to study the impact of climate change on plants.
Mexico's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (SADER) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) have joined forces to create a guide to proceed more effectively with phytosanitary work and achieve food security. The document was presented by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) and contained recommendations for the 184 member countries.
SADER reports that research on the Impact of Climate Change on Plant Pests shows that globalization of the agribusiness industry, coupled with increasing global temperatures, has led to the movement of pests worldwide and their establishment in areas where they were originally not present. As a result, it is more important to understand the challenges of sustainability in a global context with the guidance of technology. Javier Valdés, Director General of Syngenta Latin America North, explained to MBN that farmers necessarily require the intervention of technology and guidance combined with other programs, products, or crops in order to establish an agriculture that is to be friendly for biodiversity.
The research presented by the institutions intends to eliminate the spread of pests moving through international trade standards on phytosanitary measures developed by the community through a process with the participation of multiple entities. Mexico is considered a global reference for applying biological controls as a sustainable and effective technique for combating agricultural pests. According to SADER, approximately 70 biological control laboratories are operating in the country under the National Reference Center for Biological Control (CNRCB) management.
To advance the implementation of the recommendations of this scientific review, the IPPC established a discussion group regarding the impact of climate change on plant health and the development of pest control technologies. "From an ecological point of view, accelerating the development of new technologies will help to make climate change less destructive to crops and to maintain food production in the face of a growing global population and the impossibility of increasing the area under cultivation in countries such as Mexico, where the only solution is to produce more on the same surface," Valdés further explains.
Sader has also joined efforts with several organizations such as International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT). Martin Kropff, Director-General of the institution, stated to MBN that they are contributors to the public policy formulation in Mexico and highlighted that better crops and farming technologies are worthless without the national agricultural research systems' trust.
The scientific research on the impact of climate change on plant health contributes to the 2030 Agenda of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.