Division of Food Production and Society

Risk management of imported plants and seeds: possibilities for improved pest detection to prevent the introduction and spread of new pests

Active Last updated: 23.09.2020
End: sep 2024
Start: sep 2020

Plant pathogens and invertebrates harmful to plants continue to threaten food security and natural habitats. In Norway, the responsibility of performing plant health inspections on imported plants has gradually shifted to importers of plants who are currently responsible for internal pest control and must be registered with the Norwegian Food Safety Authority.

Start - end date 17.09.2020 - 17.09.2024
Project manager Frode Veggeland
Division Division of Food Production and Society
Department Economics and Society

The plant health system poses several challenges to import risk analysis due to the great variety of importers (e.g. professional business, individuals like farmers and garden owners) and thus of capacities to comply with rules. Therefore, research is needed on how the current regulatory framework affects the effectiveness of import risk analysis. STOPPest asks: What are the conditions for effective management of plant health with regard to plant imports?

The main objective is to produce knowledge on the conditions for effective management of plant health regarding plant imports. We will analyze three case studies: strawberry plants, ornamentals, and seeds. We will map and assess the regulatory framework, review existing research on biological risks and analyze the importers´ behavior and practices to identify the weakness in the current system.

We will implement an interdisciplinary research design and do a triangulation of methods, i.e. document analysis, interviews, focus groups, survey and biological testing (WP2) to compare the results of inspections performed by importers and professional inspectors (NIBIO scientists). In WP3, we will do an interdisciplinary and participatory synthesis of the knowledge and results of WP2 by using causal loop diagramming to examine how the regulatory framework for imported plants and seeds can be improved, and what are the necessary conditions for enabling plant importers to ensure a satisfactory phytosanitary status.