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PLANT PROTECTION

                 

Plant Protection strategy and activities have significant importance in  the overall crop production programmes for sustainable agriculture.  Plant protection efforts aim at minimizing crop losses due to ravages of insect pests, diseases, weeds, nematodes, rodents, etc.   Enforcement of Destructive Insects & Pests Act (1914) for prevention of exotic pests, promotion of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), Implementation of Insecticides Act, 1968 for regulating production and use of pesticides, monitoring and control of desert locust in the Scheduled Desert Area and Human Resource Development in Plant Protection through training, are the major programmes in the gamut of Plant Protection.  Salient features of activities and achievements during 2002-03 (up to 31st  December, 2002) in  the arena of Plant Protection are summarized below: 

1.                  PLANT QUARANTINE: 

The objectives of the scheme are to implement the provisions of Destructive Insects & Pests Act 1914 (DIP Act 1914) and the Plant Quarantine Rules including Plants, Fruits and Seeds (Regulation of Import into India) Order 1989 issued there- under so to prevent  introduction of exotic pests, diseases and weeds  into India.  Other allied responsibilities are issuance of Phyto-sanitary  certificates (PSCs) as per the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) 1951 of the FAO and to undertake post-entry quarantine (PEQ) inspections in cases of imports of agricultural products. These functions are being discharged by 32 Plant Quarantine Stations at various international airports, seaports and land custom stations across the country.  With a view to facilitating international trade in agricultural products, two new plant quarantine stations at Raxual and Rupadhia have already been established in the current financial year.  Further, three new plant quarantine stations are being made functional on the Indo Nepal Border at Sonauli, Barvasa and Jogbani soon. 

During the current financial year (up to 31st December, 2002) a total of 18127 import permits for seeds/plant materials for sowing/propagation have been issued.  Screening of imported commodities of 5013 thousand MTs and 4985 thousand  numbers of plants/plant materials have been undertaken from the Plant Quarantine angle.  Phyto-sanitary inspection for export of 13534 thousand MTs and 4985 thousand  numbers of plants and plant materials was attended to and 38311 Phyto-sanitary Certificates (PSCs) were issued. 

2                    INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT :  

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an eco-friendly approach which aims at keeping pest below and disease infestation economic thresholds level by employing all available alternate pest control methods and techniques such as cultural, mechanical and biological control with greater emphasis on use of Bio-pesticides and pesticides of plant-origin like Neem formulations.  The use of chemical pesticides is advised as a last resort when pest crosses economic threshold level (ETL).  IPM related activities are being implemented through 26 Central Integrated Pest Management Centers (CIPMCs) located in 23 States and Union Territories.

 Major activities under IPM approach include undertaking sample roving surveys for monitoring pest/disease situation on major crops, production and release of Bio-control agents, conducting Farmersí Field Schools (FFSs) etc.  Pest/disease situation has been monitored regularly during the period in the States and 644 thousand ha. was covered against targeted area of 469 thousand  ha.  The pest situation reports received from field stations and States were compiled and comprehensive weekly and monthly reports were circulated to the concerned officers and scientists of State Departments of Agriculture/State Agricultural Universities and ICAR Institutes so as to help them take appropriate remedial measures. 

A total of 16260 thousands Bio-control agents have been mass produced in the laboratories and released (up to December, 2002) against insect-pests in rice, cotton, sugarcane, pulses, vegetables and oilseeds against the targeted release of 11570 thousands during the year 2002-03.  An area of 523 thousands ha has been covered against the targeted area of 367 thousands ha. in different States against various insect pests through augmentation and conservation. 

In order to popularize IPM technology among the State extension functionaries and farmers, demo-cum-training programme has been launched by organizing 290 Farmersí Field Schools (FFSs) in rice, cotton, vegetables, pulses and groundnut during Kharif, 2002 in 23 States/UTs wherein 1019 agriculture extension officers and 8784 farmers were trained in IPM approach.  In these FFSs training programmes, women farmers also included. Another 520 FFS are being taken up in Rabi 2002-03 for training 2,600 agriculture extension officers and 15,600 farmers. To ensure greater public participation in the IPM Programme, NGOs are now being involved in the spread of IPM approach.  In the year 2002-03, 21 NGOs were trained who in turn organised 34 FFSs.  IPM packages of practices in respect of 52 crops have been already made and sent to States/CIPMCs across the country for implementation thereof. 

Further, various training programmes were conducted across the country to train Central and State Government officials in IPM approach. Some State specific training programmes were also oganised such as orientation training programme on Rice at Guwahati, Assam in which 52 trainees from 23 districts of Assam were trained.

3.                  FAO-EU COTTON IPM PROGRAMME IN INDIA
A regional FAO-EU Cotton IPM Project is also being implemented in India.  Besides India, Bangladesh, China, Pakistan, The Philippines and Vietnam are also signatories to the project.  The main objectives of the Project are to train farmers in cotton IPM, promote cooperation between extension agencies, NGOs, Research Institutions.  Under the Project, so far about 6.300 farmers and 130 extension officers have been trained in 4 field training programmes conducted during 2001-2002 at Raichur (Karnataka), Akola (Maharashtra), Nandyal (Andhra Pradesh) and Dharwad (Maharashtra).

4.        IMPLEMENTATION OF INSECTICIDES ACT, 1968  :

Pesticides being toxic by their very nature, are hazardous to human beings and environment.  The residues of pesticides also enter into the food chain and are harmful to human and animal health.  Keeping this in view, the Government of India is regulating their manufacture, sale, transport, use and import/export through implementation of the Insecticides Act, 1968 and the Rules framed there under.  The Central Insecticides Board (CIB) constituted under Section 4 of the Act, renders advice to the Central and States Governments on the technical matters arising out of the administration of the Act and to carry out such other functions.  The Registration Committee (RC) constituted under Section 5 of the Act registers  insecticides under Section 9 of the Act, after satisfying itself about their efficacy and safety to human beings, animals and environment.

During the year (up to December, 2002)  a total number of 5079 applications have been received for the grant of registration and the RC has issued 2551 Registration Certificates and rejected 1578 applications after holding 13 Registration Committee meetings.  In order to boost the export of the pesticides, the rules and procedures have been simplified, particularly for pesticides being manufactured for export thereof with a view to further streamline the functioning of CIBRC, a website of the Secretariat of CIB&RC http//www.cibrc.nic.in has been launched on 25.10.2002. 

The Central Insecticides Laboratory (CIL), Faridabad set up under Section 5 of the Act, is serving as a referral laboratory for quality control of pesticides.  The CIL is also carrying out pesticides residues analysis and investigations on bioassay, medical toxicology and processing/packaging.  Besides, there are two Regional Pesticides Testing Laboratories (RPTLs) at Kanpur and Chandigarh to assist the States in the quality control tests.  The CIL and two RPTLs have conducted testing of  2205 and 1573 samples of pesticides upto 31.12.2002.  It is intended to amend the Insecticides Act, 1968 to deal with offenders effectively and to ensure supply of quality pesticides. 

A Central Task Force has also been created in the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation to organize and coordinate raids across the country to ensure supply of quality pesticides to farmers.  The said Task Force initiated such raids in Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, whereby samples of pesticides were drawn from various dealers and suppliers for the purpose of testing thereof.

5.        LOCUST CONTROL AND RESEARCH :
The Locust Warning Organisation (LWO) monitors locust situation/activities over an area of 200 thousands sq km of the Scheduled Desert Are in parts of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Haryana.  It has 5 circle offices and 23 locust outposts with its field Headquarter at Jodhpur.  Besides, there is one Field Station for Investigations on Locust (FSIL) situated at Bikaner.  To strengthen the locust monitoring and forecasting, a Remote Sensing Laboratory has also been set up to prepare vegetation maps based on satellite imageries for locust forecasting.  Satisfactory locust control potential is being maintained in the form of pesticides, plant protection equipment, wireless sets and trained technical and mechanical staff.

During the period under report, India continued to be free from any gregarious locust activity.  However, mixed population of Desert/Migratory Locust and grasshoppers was recorded from  Bajra crop grown in small patches in Sanchore and Bhinmal Tehsils of Jalore District in Rajasthan and Tharad Tehsil  in Palanpur District of Gujarat during the first week of July,2002.  Immediate  control operations were undertaken to control locust/grasshopper  activity and as a result, 42 ha area was treated. Similarly, during the first week of August, 2002 mixed population of Migratory locust and grasshopper was also recorded in 35 ha area of Bajra and Guar crops at 5 TK Villages of Sriganganagar district of Rajasthan which was also controlled.  The Plant Protection Adviser to Government of India  visited the locust-affected areas in Jalore, Sanchore and Tharad sectors and advised the field staff for maintaining utmost vigil for immediate reporting  and necessary action. 

To keep a constant watch on locust in Thar desert, surveys over an area of 15600 thousand  ha. were conducted against the target of 6000 thousand  ha. during the period from April to December, 2002.  Fourteen locust situation bulletins were issued to various concerned agencies/organization for their use.  Close liaison is being kept with the FAO and other agencies through exchange of locust information.

6.            FOOD SECURITY
Food safety issues are an area of growing concern all across the world.  To ensure ecologically safer food products, the stress area is control of pesticide residue contents by fixing of maximum residue limits so as to bring them down to internationally accepted minimum tolerance levels, so that agricultural products are safe for human consumption. 

In this connection, the CIBRC has recently finalised the format for submission of requisite data/information to be provided by applicants for registration of pesticides for fixation of Maximum Residue Limits under PFA Act by Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.  Further, Maximum Residue Levels  in respect of five pesticides have  been fixed in 51  pesticides to be notified under the PFA by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare in addition to 71 pesticides for which MRLs had already been fixed prior to 2002-03.  Another  21 pesticides have been banned for use in Indian agriculture.  Further an Expert Group has been constituted by CIBRC to examine the data available w.r.t. toxicity/bio efficacy, etc., with Secretariat of CIBRC so as to enable fixing of Maximum Residue Levels for a number of pesticides registered prior to 1972.

7.            TRAINING IN PLANT PROTECTION:
The National Plant Protection Training Institute (NPPTI), Hyderabad organized short-term and long-term training courses for in-service personnel of the State Departments of Agriculture as well as for foreign nationals for human resource development in plant protection.  The Institute is well equipped with advance training facilities. During the period up to 31st December, 2002, 19 regular courses were conducted at NPPTI, Hyderabad against the target of 27 ,wherein 441 trainees from various States and Central Organizations were trained in different aspects of plant protection.

8.  THE OUTLAYS (BE) 2002-03 AND EXPENDITURE UPTO DEC.,2002
IN RESPECT OF VARIOUS SCHEMES IN THE FIELD OF PLANT PROTECTION  

                                                                                             (Rs. in thousands)

S.No.

Name of the Scheme

BUDGET/OUTLAYS

 

EXPENDITURE

 

 

1.

 

 

Implementation of Insecticides Act i)                    Plan

ii)                   Non-Plan

Revenue

Capital

Total

Expenditure upto December, 2002

 

 

67,50

3,23,00

 

 

 

20,00

-

 

 

 

87,50

3,23,00

 

 

52,60

244,11

2.

Locust Control & Research       i)                    Plan  

ii)                   Non-Plan

 

13,00

2,96,00

 

25,00

-

 

38,00

2,96,00

 

14,79

1,87,84

3.

Integrated Pest

Management (IPM)
 i)                    Plan

ii)                   Non-Plan

 

 

3,21,36

3,41,00

 

 

30,00

-

 

 

3,51,36

3,41,00

 

 

3,24,50

2,18,17

4.

Training in Plant Protection i)                    Plan

ii)                   Non-Plan

 

12,73

1,60,00

 

30,00

-

 

42,73

1,60,00

 

15,67

1,00,76

5.

Expansion of Plant Quarantine Facilities in India

i)                    Plan

ii)                   Non-Plan

 

 

5,69,52

2,60,00

 

 

250,00

-

 

 

8,19,52

2,60,00

 

 

3,16,18

1,72,06

6

Strengthening and Modernisation of Pest Management Approach in India

 

i)                      Plan

ii)                    Non-plan

 

 

 

  4,93,89

-

 

 

 

  145,00

-

 

 

 

  6,38,89

-

Nil

(The scheme is yet to be approved.  Schemes at S.No.1 to 4 will be merged under this Scheme during X Plan.  Funds have been transferred to schemes at 1 to 4 at RE Stage)

  9.            PROGRAMME  FOR THE YEAR 2003-04:-    

All the above activities and programmes in  the field of plant protection shall continue in 2003-04.  However, the targets for the financial year will be fixed only during March 2003 on the basis of  availability of funds and facilities such as staff and infrastructure. The thrust areas identified for the year 2003-04 are as follows.  

The thrust areas identified for the year 2003-04

S.No.

 

Thrust Area

Expressed in terms of targets

1.

Increasing production of bio-pesticides and bio-control agents in Departmental centers and popularising the IPM packages developed for different crops so far.

a).Increasing the production of Bio-Control agents in CIPMCs by 15% over the 2001-2002 levels.

b). IPM package of practices for 8  new  crops to be developed.

3.

Simplification and Streamlining of the functioning of the Secretariat of CIB&RC with a view to increase transparency and to cut out time delays.

Computerization of the Secretariat of CIB&RC.

 

4.

Ensuring reliability of Central Insecticide Laboratory.

Getting NABL certification for CIL.

5.

Improving utilization of central inspectors in quality assurance.

a). Creation of Central Task Force for drawing and checking of insecticidesí samples .

b). Central teams to organize 60 raids in different States.

6.

Revision of Plants Fruits and Seeds Order 1989 to incorporate provisions of SPS agreement under the WTO.

To issue a new comprehensive Plant Quarantine Order in place of PFS Order 1989

7.

Computerisation of all major Plant Quarantine Stations

15 Plant Quarantine Stations to be fully computerized.

8.

Review of guidelines and preparation  of an Operations Manual of Plant Quarantine activities so as to meet the requirements of SPS agreement

Plant Quarantine Operations Manual to be compiled and issued, incorporating  and rationalizing all  the existing guidelines on the matter.

9.

Training in Plant Protection (current problems)

a). Training in IPM in vegetable crops.

b). Apex level training in rodent control as well as off-campus training in rodent pest management.

c). Organising Workshops on Neem and other eco-friendly pest  management tools.

10.        MEASURES FOR POLLUTION CONTROL/ABATEMENT :  

The Department of Agriculture and Cooperation has adopted Integrated Pest Management (IPM)  as main plank and cardinal principle of plant protection strategy in overall crop production programmes to reduce the use of toxic chemical pesticides to the barest minimum with a view to minimize environmental pollution (air, water & soil) and maintain ecological imbalance.  The IPM programme is being implemented with the cooperation of State Governments and Indian Council of Agricultural Research.  The research efforts at Field Station for Investigations on Locust (FSIL), Bikaner have been intensified on bio-control for locust control in order to minimize the use of chemical pesticides for locust control.  

11.              ACTIVITIES IN NORTHEAST STATES :  

Four Central IPM Centers are functioning in North-Eastern States to promote and popularize IPM approach among farmers. These Centers are located at Guwahati (Assam), Aizwal (Mizoram), Dimapur (Nagaland) and Gangtok (Sikkim).  The main activities of the Centres are pest surveillance and monitoring on major crops for forewarning pest/disease build up, promotion of biological control methods and organizing IPM Farmers Field Schools (FFSs) for educating farmers and extension officials.  During 2002 (upto December,2002), 28  FFSs are being set up in rice, vegetable crops wherein 820 farmers and   140 extension officials have been  trained. Central IPM Centres have also scanned a crop area of  0.427 lakh ha. against the target of 44 thousand  ha. under the pest monitoring and released 71.05  million (nos) of bio-control agents against the annual target of  71000  thousand  for promotion of biological control and IPM approach in the North Eastern States. Two Plant Quarantine Stations  at Agartala (Tripura) and Guwahati (Assam) are functioning in the North Eastern States to render Plant Quarantine services.  

12.              PROGRESSIVE USE OF HINDI  

All efforts are being to increase of use of Hindi as Official language in day-to-day work and activities.  Necessary books, booklets, pamphalets, posters, charts etc. on IPM have been prepared and distributed to the farmers and extension functionaries in the State/UTs.  Also, the use of Hindi is being promoted  in the administrative/ministerial work and about 45% of work is  done in Hindi.   Although most of the work in the Directorate of Plant Protection, Quarantine & Storage is of scientific and technical nature, more than 45% official correspondence is in Hindi.
During September, 2002 the Parliamentary Committee on Official Language visited one of the Field Stations namely Field Station for Investigation on Locust (FSIL) , Bikaner to assess the   progress of use of Hindi in the official work.  

13.              PROGRAMME FOR DEVELOPMENT OF SCs & STs  

Although there is no separate Plant Protection Programme for development of SCs and STs, the   preference is given to the SC and ST farmers in the IPM Farmers Field Schools to impart them IPM Training  particularly in the tribal and backward areas.

 


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Last Updated On - 30 April, 2009