Press Releases

  • TERI- IPM CRSP Organise Sensitization Workshop on IPM and Biopesticides for Farming Community

    10 June 2009

    Crop losses due to pest infestation amounts to over Rs. 24,000 crores per annum. Farmers, till now have solely relied on the synthetic pesticides that are easy to apply and cost- effective despite its negative impact in the long- term that lead to crop losses. To curb the same, scientists at TERI organised a sensitization workshop with farming community to promote and adopt biopesticides through Integrated Pest Management (IPM) modules for solving ecological and health problems posed by injudicious use synthetic pesticides.

    Speaking on the ill- effects of synthetic pesticides, Dr Nutan Kaushik, Fellow TERI said, "Injudicious use of pesticide for short-term gains leads to serious problems of crop losses due to pesticide resistance, pest resurgence, elimination of natural predators and health and environment hazards due to pesticide residues. Pesticides also have deleterious impacts on soil microbial fauna, which help to maintain the soil productivity. The promotion of judicious use of agrochemicals can contribute immensely to the protection of the environment, not only by reducing substantially the dependence on inappropriate chemicals but more significantly, by raising yields and thus releasing marginal lands from cultivation. The rise in the socio-economic levels of the marginal farmers and greater stability imparted to their incomes will reduce the pressure from them on forest or other perishable resources."

    Vegetable farmers, particularly smallholders, face a number of constraints in the vegetable production. The production risks are high primarily because of considerable production losses caused by pests. These are estimated to be about 30% of the total vegetable output. The farmers end up giving 15-30 sprays with pest control below their satisfaction level.

    Practices for preventing pest damage in IPM include inspecting and monitoring crops for damage, using mechanical trapping devices, botanical pesticides, natural predators/parasites, insect growth regulators, mating disruption substances, and, if necessary, only need-based and judicious use of chemical pesticides. IPM modules having biopesticides such as Trichoderma, Trichogramma, Psuedomonas and neem-based pesticides as pest-control measures have been designed and demonstrated on various crops.

    IPM for paddy, wheat, and sugarcane were demonstrated in more than 25 ha of land in five villages in Shivalik foothills in Yamuna Nagar District of Haryana. In the state of Uttaranchal, IPM modules were demonstrated for vegetable crops like potato, cabbage, chilly and beans. Currently IPM demonstrations are being carried out on vegetable crops viz. eggplant(brinjal), okra (lady finger), and tomato in 15 villages of Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh under USAID IPMCRSP programme.

    These practices not only helped in reducing the reliance on pesticide by 50-70% reduction in pesticide spray but also enhanced the quality of the produce, production and income of the farmers. Farmers have got 2-3 times higher price for their produce. IPM practices need to be promoted on wider scale to reduce the reliance on pesticide for better environment and food safety.