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The Objective of the workshop was for the National Food Agency to share successful experiences in addressing the BMSB outbreak with international partners. Representatives of 26 countries participated in the event.
During his presentation, Mr Zurab Chekurashvili, Head of the National Food Agency (NFA), underlined the substantial support from partner Donor Organizations received by Georgia since the 2016 outbreak of BMSB in terms of both technical assistance and equipment, and emphasized valuable recommendations provided by scientists from the Universities of Pennsylvania and Turin in the planning and early stages of the implementation of measures against the BMSB. In the end of the second year of NFA campaign against the BMSB, these international experts have provided highest evaluation of the practices carried out by NFA – the best practice adopted to Georgia’s farming system.
Also speaking at the event, Cristina Casella, Project Manager at the European Union Delegation to Georgia noted: "The BMSB is a real challenge for Georgia. The damage caused by this pest to various crops, including hazelnut and maize, has caused significant economic losses in the agricultural sector and has increased the vulnerability of rural populations. This event provides an excellent opportunity for knowledge sharing between Georgia and other countries that are faced with the same challenge"
The first outbreak of BMSB occurred in 2016 in west Georgia with a significant negative impact on agricultural output. Since then the National Food Agency with international Donor support has implemented measures to contain and lessen the pressure of BMSB.