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Regional plant production and protection activities in the Near East and North Africa region

May–December 2022









Yaseen, T. 2023. Regional plant production and protection activities in the Near East and North Africa region – May–December 2022. Cairo.



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    Brochure, flyer, fact-sheet
    Regional Workshop on Fall Armyworm Management in Near East and North Africa Region
    Cairo, Egypt 3-4 October, 2022
    2022
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    Integrated pest management (IPM) steps have been implemented as a part of the FAO project Emergency preparedness and response to strengthen the capacities of NENA countries to mitigate the risk of Fall Armyworm (FAW) in the region TCP/RAB/3803. Four demonstration fields were designed in each Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Palestine to apply the biorational insecticides proposed by FAO in the inception workshop. At the early stages of the corn crop growth in the interval between 10-45 days after seeding, we suggested monitoring the fall armyworm by using pheromone traps. Once 3-5 males captured the first bioinsecticide Bacillus thuringiensis applied to the early plant stage (10-25 days after emergence) followed by Emamectin benzoate and Insect Growth Regulator (IGR) Lufenuron or any registered similar product. The same products plus Indoxacarb could be applied and interchanged are possible. Yield results were calculated and compared with the farmer fields following the conventional insecticides as a control. Following the 6 IPM steps farmers, facilitators, and technicians easily achieved very significant results when used with good agricultural practices by farmers. Avoiding using insecticides in the maturity stage was a substantial message to the farmers and also applying entomopathogenic fungi and natural enemies when available.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    Status of Cochineal and Opuntia spp. production in the Near East North Africa (NENA) region 2022: a perspective from Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, the Syrian Arab Republic and Tunisia 2022
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    The multispecies (spp.) plant genus Opuntia (commonly referred to as cactus pear) plays a significant socioeconomic, environmental and nutritional role for many countries in the Near East and North Africa (NENA) region where cactus production is becoming an increasingly popular source of livelihoods. One of the major pests that threaten Opuntia spp. worldwide is Dactylopius opuntiae (D. opuntiae), commonly known as prickly pear cochineal. Presence of this pest in the NENA region was first recorded in Lebanon in 2012. Since then, rapid cochineal spread has been officially documented in Jordan, Lebanon, the Syrian Arab Republic and Morocco with differing levels of significance. The insect is considered one of the most significant insect pests for cactus orchards, where it can infest large areas causing significant damage and limiting cactus forage and fruit production. This assessment report indicates that most countries were unprepared for the outbreak. Lack of knowledge of the pest and slow action to establish quarantine areas led to its rapid spread. This assessment report emphasizes the need for greater agroecological alternatives to contain the cochineal spread in NENA. Greater research and implementation of integrated pest management (IPM) strategies are needed with broader promotion and adoption of the pest’s natural enemies. The report outlined a pest monitoring strategy, a protocol for cochineal control and road map and road map for the next actions to be taken by the countries.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    Food policies and their implications on overweight and obesity trends in selected countries in the Near East and North Africa region
    Regional Program Working Paper No. 30
    2020
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    Regional and global trends in body weight show that the Near East and North Africa (NENA) region countries, especially the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member countries, have the highest average body mass index and highest rates of overweight and obesity in the world. There exist several explanations that expound the high rates of overweight and obesity in most NENA countries, including the nutrition transition, urbanization, changes in lifestyle, and consequent reduction of physical activities. This study examines the implication of food policies, mainly trade and government food subsidies, on evolving nutritional transitions and associated body weight outcomes. We examine the evolution of trade (food) policies, food systems, and body weight outcomes across selected countries in the NENA region – Egypt, Jordan, and Iraq. In particular, we investigate the implications of important trade (food) policies in shaping diets and food systems as well as their implications on public health outcomes, mainly the rising levels of overweight and obesity in the NENA region. We provide a simple conceptual framework through which trade policies (tariff rates) and domestic government food policies (subsidies) may affect food systems and nutritional outcomes. An important and innovative feature of this study is that it compiles several macro- and micro-level datasets that allow both macro and micro-level analyses of the evolution of trade (food) policies and associated obesity trends. This approach helps to at least partly overcome the data scarcity that complicates rigorous policy research in the NENA region. Overweight and obesity rates have almost doubled between 1975 and 2016, with varying rates and trends across regions. For instance, whereas body weight in the NENA region was comparable with that found in high-income countries in the early years, after the 1990s regional overweight and obesity rates became much higher than those in high-income countries. Specifically, while most high-income countries are experiencing a relative slowing of increases in overweight rates, the trend for the NENA region continues to increase at higher rates. The evolution of overweight rates for the GCC countries are even more concerning. These trends are likely to contribute to the already high burden of non-communicable diseases in the NENA region. Contrary to the conventional view that overweight and obesity rates are urban problems, our findings show that rural body weight has been rising over the past few decades, sometimes at higher rates than in urban areas.

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