LAUNCHING OF CONSORTIUM RESEARCH PLATFORM ON BORERS
The Consortium Research Platform (CRP) on Borers, which was sanctioned by the ICAR for XII five year plan period with Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR), Bengaluru as the lead centre, was launched on 18 August 2014 by Dr. N. K. Krishna Kumar, Deputy Director-Genera (Hort. Sci.), ICAR, New Delhi. Dr. Krishna Kumar, in his presidential remarks, emphasized that borers, owing to their cryptic feeding habit, pose a challenge to develop effective management strategies and hence there is a need to address certain basic gaps in species identification, bioecology, host shift patterns etc. He also stressed upon that semiochemicals, including pheromones and kairomones and entompathogens have a greater scope for use in borer management. The DDG (Hort. Sci.), further highlighted the importance attached to this platform at the highest level and called upon all partners to contribute effectively to come out with measurable output in the form of technologies and quality publications.
The programme took off with the welcome address by Dr. A. K. Chakraverthy, Head, Division of Entomology and Nematology, IIHR. Dr. A. Krishnamoorthy, Principal Investigator, CRP on borers, presented an overview of the platform. He mentioned that there are 31 centres representing ICAR Institutes, State Agricultural Universities and Coffee Board. The centres are spread across the country to address about 50 borers in about 37 crops including fruits, vegetables, flower crops and plantation. The platform, which works on network mode, also includes a centre to work on pulse borers. Dr. Krishnamoorthy impressed upon that considering the magnitude of monetary losses caused by borers, even a 1% reduction in damage could translate into saving crores of rupees. A technical Bulletin entitled “Borer Pests: Status and Challenges” was released on the occasion. A web portal on Borers was also launched on this occasion. Dr. Abraham Verghese, Director, National Bureau of Agriculturally Important Insects (NBAII), Bengaluru and Co-PI of the project also graced the occasion and informed that NBAII would be taking active participation in the CRP especially in the areas of biosystematics and semiochemicals.
The launching programme, attended by about 50 scientists representing all the participating centres of the platform, was followed by a two day workshop to finalise technical programme. Dr. P. V. R. Reddy, Co-PI of the CRP on Borers proposed vote of thanks.
A) Release of publication, Borer pests: Status and Challenges (above), B) Launch of Web site on Borers (below) during the inauguration of CRP on Borers at IIHR, Bangalore on 18th Aug 2014