27th September 2018, Bengaluru
Dr. Trilochan Mohapatra, Secretary (DARE) & Director General (ICAR) inaugurated the First International Conference on Biological Control (ICBC 2018) here today.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Mohapatra recalled the food scarcity that existed in the 1950’s and 1960’s where it was ‘shipment to mouth’ with dependence on other countries mainly USA for food grains. But now India has surplus with capacity to export and earn around Rs. 30,000 crores every year and this is mainly due to the research efforts of agricultural scientists. He said with greater emphasis on organic agriculture, achieving larger area coverage of biological control agents is a huge task. He emphasised that an effective and simple method may be evolved combining different biocontrol agents and their economic viability assessed. He urged scientists to study the molecular level interactions that exist between host and predator / parasite so that pathways can be modified and increase efficiency. DG also urged scientists to quickly identify efficient predators/ parasites for combating the recently identified invasive pest Spodopterafrugiperda.
Earlier, Dr.Chandish R Ballal Director, NBAIR delivered welcome address.
Dr. David Smith of CABI, UK spoke about the efforts of CABI in promoting biocontrol and Dr. R. Muniappan of Virginia Tech. USA detailed the efforts taken to promote biological control with the involvement of several countries.
The ICAR sponsored conference is hosted by ICAR-National Bureau of Agricultural Insect Resources and Society for Biocontrol Advancement with support from CABI (Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International), lAPPS (International Association for the Plant Protection Sciences), Tutaabsoluta and IOBC Parthenium Working Groups.
Total of 240 delegates including 43 research scientists from other countries are participating and presenting their research work related to biological control of insect pests and weeds under the 10 different scientific sessions.
(Source: ICAR-National Bureau of Agricultural Insect Resources)