Pathogens Without Borders

Sunday, February 14, 2016: 8:00 AM-9:30 AM
Marshall Ballroom East (Marriott Wardman Park)
Floating through the air or leaping from plant to plant, plant pathogens do not recognize or respect political borders. This session explores the challenges arising from the geographic ignorance of pathogens, as well as potential solutions. When battling plant pathogens, the first objective is to find out where the pathogen is, and where it might be going next. Building a surveillance network that is elastic and far-reaching requires in-depth engagement with farmers, scientists, policymakers, and other stakeholders across multiple countries and continents. Each of these stakeholders has their own policies, priorities, and self-interests. Solutions to fight the pathogen must then be found and disseminated among different nations and organizations. Effectively, data systems and knowledge sharing must be as flexible as the pathogen itself, able to traverse technological borders, such as differing capacities (i.e., sub-standard software and hardware) and varying data protocols in different countries. Despite these challenges, international collaborations across borders, systems, and societies is the best way to prevent potential epidemics that threaten food security world-wide.
John Bakum, Cornell University
Ronnie Coffman, Cornell University
David Hodson, International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center-Ethiopia
Building Plant Pathogen Surveillance Networks in Sub-Saharan Africa
See more of: Food and Water Resources
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