Plant protection forms an integral part of crop production. It involves intelligent ways of quarantining of plants, a thorough regulation of pesticides, minimizing pest attacks and locust attacks and training and capacity building in plant protection.
Integrated Pest Management
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an eco-friendly approach which aims at keeping pests below economic threshold level (ETL) by employing all available 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 such as neem formulations. A national plan on rodent pest management is under implementation to build capacity and train manpower, create awareness, involve community based organizations and launch rodent control campaigns at the village level in identified endemic areas. A campaign to prevent manufacture and sale of spurious pesticides has been launched by DAC (Department of Agriculture and Cooperation) in cooperation with all State Governments and the respective Central Integrated Pest Management Centres(CIPMCs). Keeping in view the growth in consumption of bio-pesticides and need to regulate their quality, assistance for setting up of bio-pesticide testing facilities is being provided.
The scheme ‘Monitoring of Pesticide Residue at National Level’ was launched in 2005 as a Central sector scheme to collect, collage and analyze data and information on a centralized basis, on prevalence of pesticide residues in agri-produce of farm-gate and market yards. During 2011-12, more than 12,000 samples including vegetables, fruits, rice, wheat, milk, butter, meat, fish and marine products, spices, tea, honey and water were analyzed.
Web Based Processing
Usage of the internet has enabled the web based Plant Quarantine Information System (PQIS) is now providing plant quarantine services relating to the issue of import permits, PSC’s and release orders to importers and exporters. The Insecticides Act, 1968 regulates import, manufacture, sale, transportation, distribution and use of insecticides with a view to prevent risk to humans or animals and for matters connected therewith. In order to bring about greater transparency and efficiency in the process of registration of pesticides on-line registration of insecticides on website of the Central Insecticides Board and Registration Committee (CIB&RC) has been operationalized.
Seed Treatment Campaign consists of the use and application of chemical and biological agents on seeds to control primary soil and seed borne infestation of insects and diseases, which are threats to crop production. In view of threat perception to bio security of the country on account of increasing international trade, emergence of trans-boundary diseases of plants and animals (such as Ug-99 wheat stem genetically modified organisms, climate change) and bio-terrorism, Ministry of Agriculture has prepared a proposal for putting in place a National Agricultural Bio Security System (NABS). The proposal is based on recommendations of National Commission on Farmers headed by Prof. M.S. Swaminathan and National Policy on Farmers 2007.