Cambria Finegold, Richard Shaw and Roger Day of the Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International in collaboration with Katherine Denby of the University of York and Sarah Gurr of the University of Exeter all in the United Kingdom, will design a platform - GBCrop - to collect, analyze and disseminate data on the global impact of crop pests and disease. The fact that 40% of crops are lost to pests impacts both the global food supply and local economies. Despite this, little is known about why and how crop pests and diseases occur. The extent of the problem was acknowledged by the UN declaring 2020 the Year of the Plant. They will design GBCrop to collect large quantities of high-quality data and apply advanced analytical methods to generate results that can then be used to direct research and policy development, and to predict the impact of emerging diseases. The program is modeled after Global Burden of Disease, which has transformed health policy agendas over the last 25 years. They will begin by consulting with key experts, and then include policy makers, private industry representatives, government organizations, potential funders and scientific experts. Together they will decide what data to collect and how it can best be used to accurately predict the impact of emerging crop diseases. They will launch their plan-of-action in the Year of the Plant and aim to make their first recommendations in 2023 on how to maximize crop gains.
More information about 2018 Grand Challenges Annual Meeting Call-to-Action