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UPSIGN Webinar on Food Security


A quarter of Pakistan’s GDP comes from agriculture. It is the main source of food security, employment and women engagement. Today, more than 60% of rural farmers face serious challenges affecting food security. Post-harvest, losses can occur of up to 40%.

A few major challenges are outlined below and were discussed at this webinar.

  • The first challenge is climate change. It can help spread new insect pests and disease.

  • The second challenge is Mycotoxins. Acceptable levels for human consumption are a concern for both national and international markets.

  • The third challenge is the level of pesticide residues. Over 80% of products may have levels which exceed EU standards. These residues not only impact human health but also affect export earnings on its produce to the EU and other countries.

rice fields.jpg

Participants at the webinar took part in an online survey, voting for the pests and diseases affecting staple crops such as wheat & rice. The results are highlighted in the slide deck above.

Programme & Speakers

  • Dr Khalid Mahmood (Rothamsted Research/UPSIGN): Welcome and Introduction

  • Professor Tariq Butt (Swansea University): Issues of Pesticide residues affecting human health & environment

  • Professor Jon West (Rothamsted Research): Surveillance and Monitoring for Improving Crop Protection

  • Professor Naresh Magan (Cranfield University): Issues of Mycotoxins in Cereal Crops

  • Dr Belinda Luke (CABI): Biocontrol Solutions and Control Strategies

  • Dr Shahid Mansoor (NIBGE): Q & A session

Over 80 participants from Pakistan & UK universities, research institutes and industry partners took part in the discussions. The collaborating partners attending the webinar from the UK represented the University of Swansea, University of Cranfield, Rothamsted Research and CABI. From Pakistan, MNS Multan, University of Agriculture Faisalabad, University of Sargodha, LUMS, University of Arid Agriculture, University of Punjab, Pakistan provincial and federal government departments.   

Click here to access other UPSIGN webinars

There is a need for a multidisciplinary approach to handling pests. Using different strategies and technology which will advance agriculture and preserving food security.

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