National Symposium organized by Indian Phytopathological Society- Southern zone Chapter and ICAR-NRCB on ‘Cutting edge approaches for sustainable plant disease management and ensuring farmers’ profit” at NRCB, Tiruchirapalli during 21-23 December 2018
Indian Phytopathological Society (Southern Zone Chapter) and the ICAR-National Research Centre for Banana have organized jointly a three days National Symposium on ‘Cutting edge approaches for sustainable plant disease management and ensuring farmers’ profit’ during 21-23 December 2018 at ICAR NRC Banana, Tiruchirapalli. The Indian Phytopathological Society is the third largest society of plant pathologists in the world and is a professional forum for promoting the science of plant diseases. The symposium offered a platform for the exchange of knowledge, expertise, innovative ideas, development and views among scientists and academia related to plant diseases. The symposium had different themes viz., emerging and re-emerging plant diseases, diagnostics, pathogen detection, management of diseases using biocontrol agents along with advanced fields like nanotechnology, mushroom cultivation and integrated disease management for crops.
The role of information and communication technologies and internet of things among stake holders like pathologists, farmers, seed and pesticides manufacturers was emphasized for early identification of diseases and their efficient management. The conference called for close association of KVK's in technology assessment and dissemination related to disease management and held an open session of doubling the farmers income. Around 288 agricultural scientists of Plant Pathology and Breeders, academicians, progressive farmers, representatives from industries related to plant protection and scholars from state agricultural universities and colleges of southern states viz., Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry, Kerala and Karnataka, have participated in the symposium. The symposium had 9 key note lectures, 19 lead talks and 63 oral presentations and 137 poster presentations. There were four concurrent sessions held on 11 different themes. On the third day, Professor M.J.Narashimhan award contest was held and seven presentations were made in front of a five member jury. Two were shortlisted as nominees for the IPS annual meet. One nominee was shortlisted for APS travel grant contest. In addition, a special interactive workshop on Careers in plant pathology was organized for the benefit of the undergraduate students who aspire to become Plant Pathologists. A panel consisting of academicians, scientists, private fungicides company representatives, entrepreneurs depending on Mushrooms, AGM of reputed Bank and personnel from tissue culture industry have interacted with students for 4 hours long interaction and then they were trained to use dipstick kit to detect banana virus and were also taken into the Virology and Pathology labs. Around 179 students participated in the one-day special interactive workshop conducted on 22nd December 2018.
The symposium was inaugurated by Dr. N. Kumar, Vice-Chancellor, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, with Dr. W. S. Dhillon, ADG (Horticultural Science), Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi as the Guest of Honour. Dr. S. Uma, Director, ICAR-NRCB; Dr Dinesh Singh, Secretary, IPS, New Delhi; Dr M Anandaraj, Former Director, ICAR-IISR and former President, IPS; Dr A.S.Krishnamoorthy, Director, CPPS, TNAU and Dr R.Selvarajan, President of Indian Phytopathology Society - South zone / Organizing Secretary of the National Symposium were the dignitaries in the function. Dr Selvarajan briefed about the genesis of the Indian Phytopathology Society and the objectives, various activities of the Society for the cause of farmers and researchers. He also mentioned on the conceptualization of Symposium and the Workshop. Dr. Uma, the Director, ICAR-NRCB and Chairperson of the Symposium spoke on the need of information technology and App’s to reach to the farmers and convergence of engineering and basic sciences for the effective management of the diseases. Dr. Dhillon talked about the increased production of horticultural crops from mere 15 to 370 million tons in the last three decades which was possible due to minimizing of losses of crop produce due to diseases management. He said, the maximum loss of horticultural produce, which are mostly perishable and short-term storage in nature, is due to post harvest loss partially due to of diseases in the post harvest period, which pathologists should find solution to bring down the loss thus increasing the income to the producers and farmers. The chief guest of the Function Dr Kumar, Vice Chancellor, TNAU released Souvenir and two ready-to-use ELISA kits for the detection of CMV and BBrMV. Dr Kumar in his address requested the plant pathologists in the country to work for tackling the emerging diseases and emphasized the role of disease surveillance and forecasting, use of microbial consortium the elimination of the pathogens in the initial stage itself and work for newer generation of chemicals and biochemicals for management of diseases in crops. Dr. R. Thangavelu, Principal Scientist; Councilor of Southzone IPS and co-organizing secretary welcomed the gathering and Dr. M. Loganathan, Principal Scientist, proposed vote of thanks.
The plenary session was chaired by Dr S Uma, the Director, NRCB and Dr G Krishnamohan and Dr V.G. Malathi, eminent pathologists, Dr R.Selvarajan, Organizing secretary & President of Indian Phytopathology Society - South zone and Dr R.Thangavelu, Zonal Councillor were the dignitaries. At the outset, the rapporteurs presented the recommendations of each session held and Dr R Selvarajan, organizing secretary, briefed about the Symposium and Workshop. He informed that the symposium had 9 keynote lectures, 19 lead talks and 63 oral presentations and 137 poster presentations. There were four concurrent sessions held on 11 different themes. On the third day, Professor M.J.Narashimhan award contest was held and seven presentations were made in front of a five member jury. Two were shortlisted as nominees for the IPS annual meet. One nominee was shortlisted for APS travel grant contest. Dr Krishnamohan, congratulated the IPS-Southzone team and Director and the team NRCB for excellently conducting the event. Director, NRCB distributed the prizes for best oral and poster presentations. The prizes were also presented to two nominees of Prof M.J.Narashimhan award contest and in her address, she said to work as team for solving the plant disease problems and she thanked each one who have contributed for the success of the event. Dr Thangavelu, Zonal Councillor- IPS Southzone, proposed vote of thanks


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