ICGEB hosts Regulatory Harmonisation and Biopesticide Innovation Workshop in Cape Town

The ICGEB Biopesticides Group hosted an interactive workshop, bringing together regulatory professionals, researchers, industry experts, and policymakers to discuss various aspects of regional and continental harmonisation of registration guidelines for biopesticides in Africa.

From 4- 8 March 2024, the ICGEB Workshop entitled Advancing Regulatory Harmonisation and Biopesticide Innovation in Africa, took place in Cape Town, South Africa. With 7 co-sponsors: Africa Food Safety Initiative (AFSI); the Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI); CropLife Africa Middle East (CLAME); the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO); the Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF); the South Africa National Research Foundation (NRF); and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the workshop not only provided participants with a comprehensive understanding of the regulatory landscape surrounding biopesticides in Africa but also discussed the gaps and challenges that may need to be bridged in order to promote biopesticide research, development and innovation in the region.

The 5-day workshop, attended by 84 in-person participants (from 23 different countries) and 50 virtually, included discussions that provided insights into the benefits and practical implications of harmonising guidelines for the registration of biopesticides and biological control agents.

The workshop also explored ways of making the registration of biopesticides more effective, such as developing mutual recognition mechanisms, and also had the opportunity to look at the latest industry developments as well as insights from Regional Economic Communities’ experiences and prospects for the development of continental guidelines. Finally, the workshop examined the stewardship practices that should be employed to achieve effectiveness in handling biopesticides, including safety guidelines and how such practices can be incorporated into IPM strategies.

With a line-up of outstanding speakers and leading experts, the 5-day workshop has played a pivotal role in contributing towards the advancement of sustainable agriculture on the continent by fostering collaboration, promoting innovation, and providing a platform for knowledge exchange, all aimed at catalysing the development of the biopesticides industry in Africa. With an expansive attendance from around the globe, including 20 countries from the African continent, the workshop created an unparalleled opportunity for networking and collaboration.