Potential Threats in Agriculture and Food Security Area

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2020-64-7-100-107
S. Zavriev (szavriev@ibch.ru),
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation;
A. Ignatov (an.ignatov@gmail.com),
Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (PFUR), 8, Miklukho-Maklaya Str., Moscow, 117198, Russian Federation

Abstract. Agriculture is one of the backbone sectors of national economics and a factor of political stability in many countries. International organizations (IPPC, FAO) estimate that up to 40% of annual yield with the cost of about 88 bill. U.S. dollars is lost due to the pests and diseases. Thus, prevention of plant pathogen dissemination is an internationally important task that needs joint efforts of all countries. Globalization of agriculture and food trade, prohibition of toxic but wide-range efficient pesticides, development of organic farming, and global climate change result in increased spreading and harmfulness of plant pathogens in regions and on crops previously unaffected by them. There is an apprehension that plant pathogens can be targeted as biological weapons for political purposes or to achieve economic advantage in competition by criminal methods. “Agro-terrorism” was defined as crime against agricultural business by application of harmful pests (pathogens) of plants and animals. Agricultural crops infection by pathogens is underrated by both mass-media and biosecurity experts. Agro-terrorist attack would not be psychological and ecological threat only, but a long-term destabilization of food security for large regions or a whole country. In the European Union and in North America countries, plant disease problems are solved in the framework of broad international projects in the field of biological safety. In the Russian Federation, creation of a high-tech national program of biological safety in agriculture is long overdue. Urgent comprehensive measures are needed to prevent possible biological threats, as well as appropriate methods to eliminate their consequences with minimal losses. Global warming on a world-wide scale might increase agricultural production and foods export of Russia and must be taken into account in bio-security system design for agro-production sector of economics. Research in the biosecurity field must develop new methods of remote sensing, molecular detection and diagnostics, neural networking expert systems capable to forecast potential risks of pests and pathogens; it must introduce new technologies or marker-assisted breeding and genomic edition for enhanced plant and animal resistance.

Keywords: biological and food security, bioterrorism, new and especially dangerous phytopathogens, integrated plant protection, biotechnology, international cooperation


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For citation:
Zavriev S., Ignatov A. Potential Threats in Agriculture and Food Security Area. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2020, vol. 64, no. 7, pp. 100-107. https://doi.org/10.20542/0131-2227-2020-64-7-100-107

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