COPE Course Unit

7.1 Course Objectives


  1. To sensitize and enhance knowledge on emerging biosecurity issues and mitigation measures in agricultural trade.
  2. To create awareness on the use of Information Communication and Technology (ICT) in Phytosanitary systems.

7.2 Course Outline


  1. Bio-safety issues in agricultural trade
  2. Invasive alien species
  3. Application of ICT in biosecurity.

7.3 Course Content


1.1.1 Biosecurity issues in agricultural trade (5 Hours)
  1. Introduction to biosecurity, categories of biosecurity risks: pests, GMO, biological agents, microbial contaminants, invasive species, pesticides, noxious weeds
  2. Bio-safety: definition, GMOs (including recent developments and concerns; GMO crops that have been commercialized, status of GMO legal frameworks, bio-safety capacity building initiatives), known centers of excellence, list of experts.
  3. Role of GMO in phytosanitary systems
  4. Relation to CBD and Cartagena protocol: development of national legislation and structures.
  5. Risk assessment: invasive species, pesticide residues, GMOs, mycotoxins and others; environment, plant health, commercial release, risk management [including labeling], methods of GMOs detections, seed protocols (GMO tolerances).
  6. International travels: undeclared plant materials
1.1.2 8Invasive alien species (5 Hours)
  1. Introduction: definitions, scope and importance of bio-security, bio-security issues in trade; invasive alien species; examples.
  2. Elements of bio-security management systems: policies, structures (regulation of introduced biological control agents), disaster response committees.
  3. Invasive alien species and pathways of introduction: weeds, insect pests, nematodes and pathogens; wood packaging materials; impact and management.
  4. Phytosanitary implications of food aid: introduction and spread of invasive alien species.
1.1.3 8 Application of ICT in Phytosanitary systems (6 Hours)
  1. Electronic trade: Background, application of e-trade (electronic certification, one stop border systems, single window and others), tools, advantages and limitations, current status, future prospects. SWIFT- The Kenya national electronic single window system, Citizen Science/Crowd sourcing, e-commerce (plants/seeds traded online)
  2. Pest early warning systems: onground and satellite data, data collection tools, modelling, rapid alert and emergency response. CABI PRISE
  3. Diagnostics: barcoding, PCR, next generation sequencing,
  4. Information management systems: pest database, available systems, application (diagnostics, decision making, trade facilitation), documentation, policy, communication (for example notifications, rejections, advice, field reports and others).
1.2 8Case studies (3 hours)
  1. Case studies on key biosecurity issues: Water hyacinth, opuntia, Parthenium, Prosopis, Bactrocera invadens, examples of pathogens; pesticide residues, and aflatoxin contamination of maize in Kenya and its consequences.
  2. Biosecurity issues relevant to the country of training, fusarium oxysporum tropical race 4 in Australia (Queensland)
1.3 Practicals and exercises (5 hours)
  1. Group discussions and presentations of country specific biosecurity issues
  2. Field trip for identification of invasive alien species.
  3. Develop database for non-compliances, inspection reports etc e-certification (successes and challenges), pest information management systems (PIMs).
  4. Demonstration on detection of GMOs, group discussions on risk assessment.