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24 May 2019, Edition - 1410, Friday

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Coimbatore

Global consortium could address plant protection issues: ICAR DG

Covai Post Network

Coimbatore : Wide range of wild species available in sugarcane need to be utilized effectively to manage major sugarcane diseases as was done in the case of rust in wheat, a top official of Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) said today.

Researcher should come with effective quarantine methods to prevent the entry of foreign pathogens across border and forming a global consortium could address these plant protection issues effectively, Secretary, Department of Agricultural Research & Education and ICAR Director General, Dr Trilochan Mohapatra said.

Mohapatra was speaking after inaugurating XII Pathology Workshop of the International Society of Sugarcane Technologists (ISSCT) Association, jointly hosted by ICAR-Sugarcane Breeding Institute and Society for Sugarcane Research and Development, here.

Dr Mohapatra suggested GIS tagging of field gene banks and identifying traits in the germplasm in order to utilize them in the breeding programmes.

Congratulating the Institute for playing a major role in the country’s ‘sweet revolution’ with its major varieties such as Co 0238 and Co 86032, Dr. Mohapatra said that the sugar production this year of about 32 million tonnes has paved way for a change in ethanol policy, which is a significant development.

Mentioning that this is the first time this Workshop is being held in India, ISSCT Executive committee Chair, Dr Philippe Rotte of University of Florida said that ISSCT is a global organization with its headquarters at Mauritius.

The society has been in existence for 93 years during which it had organized 29 Congresses, usually at 3-year intervals. Between the two Congresses, it organizes Workshops of different sections to facilitate participation and interaction of the host country scientists with the global experts, he said.

Tamil Nadu Agricultural University vice-chancellor Dr K Ramasamy said that an integrated approach is needed among breeders and pathologists to contain major diseases in sugarcane such as red rot and smut.

Taking the cue from Australia and Indonesia, Indian researchers need to shift their focus towards enhancing resistance to diseases such as smut and manage them, he said.

The theme of the 5-day workshop, is “Challenges and Advances in Sugarcane Pathology-A key to resolve emerging issues and to formulate innovative disease management strategies” and over 50 delegates, including 25 foreign ones, representing different sugarcane growing countries across the world are participating.

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