State Nods Pest Curb Projects

With farmers facing tough time due to pest attack in Odisha, the State Government has approved major projects to deal with the menace under Rashtriya Krishi Vikash Yojana (RKVY).

While National Rice Research Institute (NRRI) has been favoured with a project to establish a state-of-the-art Pesticide Residue Laboratory in the State, Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT) has been allowed to develop ICT based forewarning system for major pest related diseases of Odisha.

The State Level Project Screening Committee (SLPSC) meeting recently chaired by Agriculture Production Commissioner (APC) Gagan Kumar Dhal has approved both the projects at a cost of around Rs 7 crore.

In wake of large scale pest attack during this Kharif season, both the Institutes of national importance have come up with such proposals to contain pest attack and help the farmers. 

NRRI, Cuttack, the arm of Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR)  had applied for a State Level Laboratory at a cost of Rs.3.87 crore, which has been approved.

 According to the project proposal, NRRI, Cuttack has expressed concern over increase in pest attack and use of spurious pesticides, causing huge financial losses to the farmers due to absence of a State level laboratory.

The laboratory will quantify minute concentration of pesticides in food and environment, which will help the farmers to tackle pests in a judicious manner.

There is hardly any quality laboratory in the State and the proposed facility will handle at least 2,000 samples in a year.

The outbreak of Brown Plant Hopper hit farmers badly in the State during 2017 and now NRRI will be able to set up the much needed laboratory with RKVY funding. 

 It will help the farmers in getting first hand information about the best quality pesticides and better pest management, said a senior scientist of NRRI.
Similarly, OUAT has come up with a proposal for ICT based forewarning system at a cost of Rs 3.03 crore, which has been approved by the SLPSC.

According to proposal, due to ignorance and absence of diagnosis of pest menace, the farmers are not able to cope with massive disaster fuelled by pests.

OUAT Scientists will develop an ICT based mobile app on major pests and diseases affecting pulses, groundnut, cotton and sugarcane crops.

There will be use of ICT for online real time pest monitoring system along with awareness on it by a team of OUAT.

The varsity will develop forewarning operational model for major insect pest and diseases in Odisha.

Hot spot Identification based on GIS will be facilitated so that timely intervention can be done for the farmers, said an Associate Professor of OUAT. 

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