b'Trust, Transparency and Communication:The Way Forward to Prevent Pest TransmissionA closer look at emerging plant diseases and strategies for their mitigation.Marcel BruinsTHE REGULATIONS REGARDINGemerg-WHY IT MATTERS ing international plant diseases exhibit sig-nificant variation across countries, reflecting Over the past few years,diverse approaches to seed health and govern-emerging plant diseasesance. Each nation adopts its own set of guidelines, have garnered significantprotocols, and measures in response to such dis-attention at the internationaleases, leading to a complex landscape of regula-level, prompting regulatorytory frameworks. Souza-Richards emphasizes that actions in various countries.these discrepancies can have notable implications for international trade. Unfortunately, national andVariances in seed health regulations may regional regulations oftencreate challenges for businesses involved in cross-lack alignment, resultingborder trade as they navigate differing require-in trade disruptions. Seedments and compliance standards. The potentialexploresfor disruptions in supply chains, trade restrictions, World Europethese challenges, seekingand increased transaction costs arises due to these insights from experts inregulatory disparities, she says.the field. Emerging plantMoreover, divergent approaches to seed healthJack Metzelaarregulation can impact the overall stability and diseases are persistentpredictability of international markets. Differencesare put at peril with little or no possibility to find threats to the food and cashin border control measures may influence thealternatives.crops that are often criticalmovement of goods, affecting the smooth flow of for global food security.international trade. Drawbacks of Current Regulations These threats can beAddressing these discrepancies calls forAccording to Souza-Richards, the current regula-particularly devastating inenhanced collaboration and coordination amongtory approach to managing emerging diseases in limited-resource countries,nations to establish more harmonized and stream- seeds presents several drawbacks that warrant where they exacerbatelined regulatory frameworks," says Souza-Richards.consideration. One key challenge is the potential Such efforts would contribute to fostering resilientlack of uniformity in regulations across different ongoing challenges inand efficient international trade systems in the faceregions or countries, she says. crop production. Seedof emerging global seed health challenges.Divergent standards and requirements can World Europe Arguably, the single biggest challenge for thecreate confusion for seed producers and traders,spoke with Jack Metzelaar, Director ofseed sector is the timely and coordinated recogni- hindering the global movement of seeds.Industry Affairs at Limagraintion of the importance of an emerging disease.Metzelaar underlines that anything that is Vegetable Seeds andIn some cases, a disease is already consideredad-hoc makes it difficult to manage sudden Dr. Rose Souza Richards,endemic by the sector by the time the Nationalchange. Phytosanitary AffairsPlant Protection Organization (NPPO) of one coun- The cycles in seed production are such that it is try decides to start regulating it.not possible to make important changes [quickly] Manager at the InternationalThe reaction time of the NPPO of a majorin choosing sites and countries for production and Seed Federation (ISF). country of seed supply can then be long, as [theeven research, he says. If there would be clearer emerging disease] is simply not recognized as aand more transparent communication between all major issue, Metzelaar says. The sector then isparties involved at an early stage, appreciation of at risk to lose important seed production oppor- risk and prevention management would be pos-tunities, or counter season nurseries for researchsible, thus creating immediate risk mitigation.20/ SEEDWORLD.COMINTERNATIONAL EDITION 2024'