Plant Disease in the Modern World


Plant pathology has been astonishingly successful in providing farmers with plant disease management methods. This success is one of the reasons why famine in today’s world is a relatively rare and isolated event. Nevertheless, plant disease continues to exert a toll on crop and food production.

Every year, diseases cause several billion dollars in lost production worldwide, reducing yields by more than 500 million tonnes per year. These losses reduce profits to farmers and drive up prices of food purchased by consumers. In addition, current disease control measures are in some cases costly and inefficient.

Plant pathologists worldwide work to establish new, more effective and environmentally friendly methods for plant disease management. For a current update on the world food situation, visit the home page of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations.