Disease and pest management data

Disease and pest management data


Data on the distribution of pests and diseases and their treatment.

Key datasets

  • Occurrences and distribution of plant pests
  • Treatment of pests and diseases
  • Recognition of pests and diseases
  • Biology of pests and diseases
  • Toxicology or plant protection measures


Sharing information on pests and diseases with farmers in real time can prevent their further spread, thereby saving crops, and reducing economic losses and environmental damage. However, information on pests and diseases is often considered sensitive because of trade and export impacts.

Expected impact:

Farmer use:

  • Farmers may use pesticide only when responding to a real threat during the growing season, saving money and the environment. When a pest or disease does occur, immediate action can prevent severe crop loss and halt the spread of the problem.

Use by other actors

  • Using information on the actual disease pressure, extension officers can give more accurate recommendations.
  • Input suppliers can anticipate the need for pesticides and other resources.


The accuracy and degree to which pest and disease information is collected by governments varies from country to country. The existing information may need to be complemented by more surveys or other sources, e.g. farmers, extension officers, input suppliers, traders etc. Some governments may consider this data sensitive in relation to trade and export regulations. On the other hand, sharing this information to be acted upon helps solve the problem. The treatment, recognition or biology of pests and diseases is, if available, easy to publish.

Examples of implementation

  • DSSTox provides a high-quality public chemistry resource for supporting improved predictive toxicology. https://www.epa.gov/chemical-research/distributed-structure-searchable-toxicity-dsstox-database
  • Currently, efforts are underway to address the issue of data availability. Recently (November 2016) the MACSUR community has started an effort to collect basic information on crop health and losses, see: https://globalcrophealth.org/ One of the proposed actions is to create an open database on crop losses due to pests and diseases.
  • www.plantwise.org/ The plantwise app provides diagnostic guidance to access plant health. The data on the occurrence of plant diseases worldwide is collected and some governments give permission to share this data, supporting prevention measures and research.

Initiatives that support interoperability

  • The Darwin Core is body of standards to facilitate the sharing of information about biological diversity by providing a glossary of terms, reference definitions, examples, and commentaries. http://rs.tdwg.org/dwc/.