Response plans to cassava viral diseases drafted in 10 Central and West African countries

In December 2018, government Ministers of Agriculture or Scientific Research from Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Togo signed country response plans to cassava viral diseases.

The drafting of these response plans is rooted in the international conference in Cotonou, organized by WAVE in June 2018, and during which we alerted governments and public opinion to the urgent need for countries to take a proactive approach to the threat of cassava brown streak disease, which is inexorably spreading from central Africa to West Africa.

Thus, in 2018, in all WAVE member countries, national workshops to develop these action plans to fight cassava viral diseases were organized with the main actors in the value chain, including researchers, producers’ associations and representatives of the Ministries of Agriculture and Higher Education and Scientific Research. In their framework, all plans include the creation of Emergency Operations Centres (EOCs) in charge of activating emergency action plans in the event of a viral outbreak and similar to those set up to combat the Ebola virus.

The drafting of these response plans is an important step in the fight for food security, which cannot be achieved without the fight against diseases that reduce production. Their implementation and the establishment of Emergency Operations Centres are now the new challenge in each of the 10 countries hosting the WAVE program.