International Day of Plant Health

Thursday, 21 April 2022

International Day of Plant Health has been declared for May 12th, 2022. This new day is the legacy of the International Year of Plant Health, marked in 2020-2021.

Plant health is responsible for ensuring sustainable plant production, biodiversity and safeguarding our healthy and resilient environment.

Further, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), plant pests and diseases cause food crop losses of up to 40 per cent, furthering the issue of world hunger and threatening rural livelihoods.

But plant industries contribute over $30 billion to the Australian economy each year, so the protection of our vital green resources is also about protecting our economy, food security, jobs and both domestic and international trade.

Building on the achievements of the International Year of Plant Health, the International Day of Plant Health has five specific objectives:

  1. Increase awareness of keeping plants healthy to achieve the UN 2030 Agenda, particularly SDG 2 (Zero Hunger).
  2. Campaign to minimise the risk of spreading plant pests through trade and travel by triggering compliance with international plant health standards.
  3. Strengthen monitoring and early warning systems to protect plants and plant health.
  4. Enable sustainable pest and pesticide management to keep plants healthy while protecting the environment.
  5. Promote investment in plant health innovations, research, capacity development and outreach.

Here in Australia production nurseries have both an opportunity and responsibility to help our industry work towards the goals of the International Day of Plant Health.

Want to learn more about how you can improve your own plant health at your own nursery?

The best place to start is the Australian Plant Production Standard website. Delivered through the ‘National Biosecurity and Sustainable Plant Production Program’ (NY20001) This website hosts a series of free resources which can help you adopt best management practice across everything from pest and disease management, biosecurity, water use, waste management and more.

The resource is also your gateway to the Nursery Industry Accreditation Scheme, the national nursery industry Best Management Practice (BMP) program for production nurseries, growing media manufacturers and greenlife markets. Information on EcoHort certification and BioSecure HACCP is also found here.

If you are looking to learn more about the specific pests you may encounter, how to identify and manage them, look no further than the Pest ID Tool. This tool, which is managed under the ‘Resourcing, supporting and assessing biosecurity in nursery production’ (NY20000) project, is free and available to all growers.

And don’t forget, all content that is created as part of the levy-funded communications program, which prioritises plant health topics can be found on the Greenlife Industry Australia website – check out technical information, case studies and media releases focusing on plant health here.

Plant health starts with you. Not only is it critically important to the broader industry, but it healthy plants mean a healthier bottom line for your business.

The ‘National biosecurity and sustainable plant production program’ (NY20001) project is funded by Hort Innovation using nursery research and development levy and funds from the Australian Government.

The ‘Resourcing, supporting and assessing biosecurity in nursery production’ (NY20000) project has been funded by Hort Innovation, using the nursery industry research and development levy and contributions from the Australian Government.