Trichy: National Research Centre for Banana (NRCB) organised a three-day national symposium to discuss the methodologies to check tropical race (TR-4) wilt disease which is threatening the crops in some areas of the country, here on Friday.
Titled ‘cutting edge approaches for sustainable plant disease management and ensuring farmers’ profit’, the event organised jointly by NRCB and Indian Phytopathological Society wanted to work out modalities to tackle the latest disease. It also laid focus on overall disease management.
Inaugurating the symposium, Tamil Nadu Agriculture University vice-chancellor N Kumar asked scientists to work for tackling emerging diseases. He emphasised the role of disease surveillance and forecast, use of microbial consortium, elimination of pathogens in initial stage and work for newer generation of chemicals and bio-chemicals for management diseases.
Dr WS Dhillon, additional director general (Horticultural Science), Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi, hailed the disease and pathogens management for the raise in production of horticultural crops from 15 million to 370 million tons in the last three decades.
“The maximum loss of horticultural produce, which are mostly perishable and short-term storage in nature, has been caused by the diseases in the post harvest period. Pathologists should find solution to control the loss and increase the income to producers and farmers,” he said.
Scientists have allayed apprehensions among the farmers in Tamil Nadu saying the banana crops in the state remained safe without any attack from the TR4 disease, though its presence in Bihar and Uttarpradesh areas were confirmed a year ago.
NRCB director S Uma spoke on the need for information technology and apps to reach out to farmers and convergence of engineering and basic sciences for the effective management of the diseases.
According to scientists, the objective of such symposiums was to come out with the ideas together to deal with such diseases but it can reach the farmers only if the Central government organisations like ICAR insisting on its implementation through the government.
Around 250 agricultural scientists and students from universities and colleges of six southern states of Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana participated in the symposium.