Global action plan key to save crops: ICAR Director General

ICRISAT Director General Peter Carberry felicitating ICAR Director General Trilochan Mohapatra at IPPC in Hyderabad.

Hyderabad: Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Director General Trilochan Mohapatra stressed the need for developing a global action plan for countering global pests which pose a challenge to crop protection due to climate change.

The crop protection challenges arising from climate change were not confined to a particular country or region. A global action plan has to be developed and a segmented approach to tackle global pests like Fall Armyworm does not serve the purpose, he said.

Addressing the inaugural session of the 19th International Plant Protection Congress (IPPC), which is being held for the first time in India, Mohapatra said there was also need to further explore biological control mechanisms, enhance surveillance and monitoring, and comprehensive screening of local crop germplasm for host resistance.

Citing the recent invasions by Fall Armyworm pest on maize and sorghum crops, he said the pest had gone from one State to 18 States in the country, prompting the Indian government to launch a comprehensive approach for tackling it.

This has led to identification of natural enemies to the pest in some areas where pesticides were not used. Indian government is in the final stages of formulating guidelines for nano-pesticides and nano-fertilizers, he said.

All these aspects are likely to be discussed during the IPPC 2019 in which 750 delegates, including entomologists, plant pathologists, nematologists and weed science experts from 55 countries are participating.

International Association for the Plant Protection Sciences (IAPPS) convenes the IPCC every four years and this year it is being organized by ICRISAT and Crop Protection Societies in India with the theme ‘Crop Protection to Outsmart Climate Change for Food Security & Environmental Conservation’.

ICRISAT Director General, Peter Carberry briefed about pest invasions due to climate change factors like increasing temperature and changes in precipitation patterns.

Presentations by different experts will address many of key plant protection issues that farmers, advisers and governments are dealing with, especially those resulting from ecological and other changes associated with global warming, said Geoff Norton, president, IAPPS.

The association also recognised five scientists with awards for distinction, scientific achievement and lifetime achievement during the inaugural session.

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