Journal of Soil Science & Plant Health

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Plant Pathogens and Food Availability: A Source

Based on currently available data, up to 30% of global staple food crops are lost annually due to plant pests, including diseases, insects, and weeds, but excluding abiotic factors such as drought, excessive water, or poor soils. When diseases severely affect staple crops in low income or under-resourced regions of the world, food availability is threatened, potentially resulting in malnutrition and population-based famine in severe cases. In addition, loss of income from cash crops sold by small commercial farms can have a cascading effect, exacerbating poverty among populations who depend upon farmers to purchase goods and services from the rural non-farm sector.

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