IMPHAL, 10th OCTOBER, 2017 (DIPR): Deputy Chief Minister Yumnam Joykumar Singh today inaugurated two days National Symposium on “Emerging and Re-Emerging Plant Diseases in North East India: Challenges and Strategies” at Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Research Complex for NEH Region, Manipur Centre, Imphal .

Speaking at the inaugural session, Deputy Chief Minister said, proper interface between farmers and scientists would be more helpful in controlling pests and other plant diseases hampering productivity in North Eastern region. He said, most of the States in the region have predominantly depend upon agriculture and allied activities as a means of livelihood and therefore issues pertaining to these activities should be addressed properly. Planting crops in right time would be the best way to control most of the diseases as there would be a little chance to pests and disease causing agents to affect the crops. He further said, with the advancement of research works, High Yielding Varieties (HYVs) have been developed and cultivating these varieties in large scale has been increased considerably but at the same time indigenous varieties around us for years should be taken care of.

Joykumar said, people are in good habit of consuming organic foods, which are supposed to be considered as best to our health. Using chemicals to control pests and diseases should be taken care of as it can cause health hazards to us. He said, instead of using various chemicals to control plant diseases, we should try to introduce methods which are less harmful to human consumption. Efforts should be made in this direction to bring a phenomenal change so that agriculture and allied activities can be developed to meet the growing demand of food in the country, he added.

Vice Chancellor of Central Agricultural University (CAU), Imphal, Professor M. Premjit Singh while speaking on the occasion strongly advocated the need to introduce crop rotation in large scale to control pests and other plant diseases in North Eastern Region. He said, minor plant diseases have become serious due to the factors of climate change. ICAR have been doing tremendous work in rice research and cultivation of HYVs. He urged the Scientists to initiate research to control disappearance of local varieties in the region.

Earlier, Deputy Chief Minister distributed certificates to the trainees who have successfully concluded one month training on Gardeners Training Programme conducted at Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) Churachandpur from 11th September -10th October this year.Agricultural inputs were also distributed in the inaugural session. Dr. N. Prakash, Joint Director, ICAR also spoke in the session. Scientists, Researchers and Students including from outside NE Region have been participating in the two days deliberation jointly organised by Indian Phytopathological Society (NEZ) and ICAR, Research Comlex for NEH Region, Manipur Centre, Imphal.

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