1. Agriculture World

How to Protect Plants from Diseases, Insect Pests and Weeds?

Pronami Chetia
Pronami Chetia

The 7th International Conference on “Phytopathology in Achieving UN Sustainable Development Goals” organized by the Indian Phytopathological Society was inaugurated at Dr. B.P. Pal Memorial Auditorium, ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi.

The Chief Guest, Dr. Anand Kumar Singh, Deputy Director General (Horticultural & Crops Sciences), ICAR emphasized on the Government of India’s strong policy decisions that have lead to the manifold increase in the food grain production from 50.82 million tonnes in the Year - 1950-51 to 281.37 million tonnes in the Year - 2018-19. He emphasized that the generation of tools and technologies by the researchers and the development and deployment of varieties with genes for higher yield and resistance have played an important role in it. Dr. Singh highlighted about the Government of India’s goals of doubling the farmer’s income by the Year - 2022 and also to enhance the agri-export earnings. He urged to educate and train the farmers for adopting the newer tools and technologies, viz., ICP, digital agriculture, Internet of Things, etc., in the field.  

The Guest of Honor, Dr. Ashok Kumar Singh, Deputy Director General (Agricultural Extension) & Director, ICAR-IARI stressed on the protection of plants as one of the prime focus as on an average, the crop losses due to diseases, insect pests and weeds are estimated to range from 15 to 25% of crop production. He emphasized that it is important to consider the soil health, animal health and human health while devising the plant protection strategies. He urged to thoroughly review the strategies to make the bio-control more effective, feasible and popular.

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The Guest of Honor, Dr. Serge Savary, Editor-in-Chief, Food Security & Ex-Vice-President, International Society for Plant Pathology, France emphasized on the adoption of the ecosystem strategy for producing the nutrition-rich food which, in turn, will help to achieve the food security.

Earlier, Dr. M.P. Thakur, President, Indian Phytopathological Society welcomed the dignitaries and the delegates from 24 countries.

Dr. Dinesh Singh, Secretary, Indian Phytopathological Society briefed about the history and the various activities undertaken by the society.

Dr. P.K. Chakrabarty, President (Elected), Indian Phytopathological Society & Member, Agricultural Scientists’ Recruitment Board stressed on the biotic and abiotic stresses are the factors that contributed for the low yields in the leading crop plants. He accentuated that the plant protection is of paramount importance to the bio-security. Dr. Chakrabarty regarded the diseases caused by the plant pathogens as existential threat to the agriculture. He mentioned that with the advancement in the science and technology, especially, the Omics tools, the world has been experiencing the new era in the field of plant pathology.

The various eminent researchers in the field of Plant Pathology in 9 different categories were awarded during the occasion.

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