1. Agriculture World

ICAR Screening Crop Varieties in Neighboring Countries to Check their Resistance to New Pest Attacks

Abha Toppo
Abha Toppo

Due to an increase in pest & insect attacks on crops, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has started measures to screen few crop varieties in the neighboring countries to check their resistance to new pest attacks so that they can be directly promoted for farming.

ICAR, Director General, Trilochan Mohapatra said this on the sidelines of the 5-day 19th International Plant Protection Congress in Hyderabad. Their immediate focus was on the new pest & insect attacks in the adjoining countries that were not native to the region, the DG said.

He told that “We have sent some material to Bangladesh to test them against the wheat blast, a fungal disease, which could impact the yield up to 100 percent and find their resistance traits so that we can promote such varieties in advance to avoid such attacks having the potential of spreading to neighboring regions”.

Wheat blast & millet blast were heard only in the US and Europe till now while rice blast was known in India & few neighboring countries, Dr Mohapatra said adding that some old pests were taking new shapes by developing resistance to pesticides. He noted that searching new pest-resistant varieties & practising new integrated pest management techniques was the only way ahead.


He also mentioned that the quarantine practices in the country’s airports & ports were not fool-proof & needs to be strengthened as soon as possible. Other effective methods to prevent pest attacks include identifying insects on weeds, enhanced surveillance & practising crop holidays.

The ICAR DG also recommended the need for using bio-control agents instead of chemical pesticides & insecticides to decrease resistance among pests as they had the potential to affect crop yield by 30 to 100 percent.

Peter Carberry, Director General of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics said the efforts of farmers in India and administration were praiseworthy as they were able to control the Fall Armyworm attack in just twelve months after it was first noticed in the country.

He said, found first in Karnataka in the 2018-19 kharif season FAW spread to 18 States, mainly in maize & sorghum crops very soon but was controlled efficiently by following integrated pest management practices, including traditional methods.

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