Photo via itl.cat under the Creative Commons License
On December 2, 2019, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) launched the United Nations’ International Year of Plant Health. This was done to raise awareness on how protecting plant health can help reduce poverty, protect the environment, end hunger and boost economic development. Every year, about 40% of crops are lost to pests and plant disease. This would then amount to $220 billion in losses. Not only do plants sustain our economy, but they also sustain us as human beings. Plants (including algae), produce 98% of the oxygen we breathe, and make up 80% of what is eaten.
According to the FAO, the alteration of the ecosystems because of the human impact on them and climate change, are some of the reasons why it is now easy for pests to spread and thrive. Furthermore, the Food and Agriculture Organisation believe that: ‘As with human or animal health, prevention in plant health is better than cure,’.
To reach out, the FAO has created a contest for amateur and professional photographers to photograph a healthy and an unhealthy plant.
Plant health is an interesting and important topic for everyone. For example, I can’t even keep a plant alive. My family can keep exotic plants, orchids, and other very delicate plants, while I killed 3 cacti!