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Government of Maharashtra has formulated and implemented an innovative project based on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the field of plant protection from 2009-10. It’s an e-pest surveillance and advisory project. It has helped immensely to protect soybean, cotton, rice, tur and gram crops from pest damage. Consistent pest monitoring and adoption of appropriate pest management strategies at proper crop growth stages of the crop have been implemented. The work assigned to ICAR-CICR was i) to formulate IPM strategies for cotton, ii) to develop pest specific advisory capsules, iii) to visit hot-spots for guidance to farmers and field functionaries and iv) to get feedback for future research and developing IPM Strategies.
Updated pest management strategies for target pests, monitored online pest situation through real time pest data uploaded on website. Since 2017-18, played proactive role in devising and dissemination of pink bollworm management strategies along with action plan to be executed by the cotton production stakeholders.
A technical guidance on pest management was provided to Department of Agriculture based on analysis of weekly pest situation. Mass awareness was created among cotton production stakeholders through print and electronic media, invited talks, press notes, articles in newspaper and magazines, TV and Radio talks and published literature etc.
e-Communication network greatly helped the public sector organizations to disseminate timely advisory to cotton farmers. Further, propagating the relevant and need based information in local languages helped farmers take timely crop management decisions.
Under e-Communication programme, cotton technologies were disseminated among farmers through voice message services covering 1.6 lakh farmers. Uploaded 91, 54, 264 voice messages during the year 2020. Voice messages on cotton production and protection technologies were disseminated in Marathi, Tamil & Hindi languages.
A total of 1,08,21,782 pre-recorded automatic phone calls (75,17,218 in Marathi, 5,84,704 in Tamil; 2,07,062 in Hindi languages from Nagpur, Coimbatore and Sirsa, respectively) were made for benefit of the registered farmers during the year 2021.
As India accounts for 40% of the global share in the fine and super fine cotton yarn trade, it is important to identify the constraints of ELS cotton production and suggest solutions. There are good varieties, hybrids and other technologies available for improving the production of ELS cotton. But, diffusing them to end users through an appropriate tailor-made diffusion model, documenting the concerns of end users regarding cultivation and marketing of ELS cotton and providing empirical evident data for finalizing the policy are the pre-requisites.
Extension Model for promoting the production of Extra Long Staple cotton in India revealed that the knowledge gap index was more regarding usage of refuge crops in ELS Bt cotton hybrids, available ELS cotton varieties and hybrids, suitable weedicides and chemicals for managing pests. Technology gap index was more in areas pertaining to nutrient management, planting methods, disease and pest management.
A Farmers training was organised at Kalathur village of Pollachi North block in Coimbatore district by the ICAR-CICR. Regional station, Coimbatore from 19.01.2023 to 25.01.2023 (five days). Farmers registered as beneficiaries under the IRM: PBW project have participated in the training programme. Dr. A.H. Prakash. Project coordinator & Head. ICAR-CICR, RS. Coimbatore has given the presidential address. Dr. K. Rameash, Principal Scientist, Entomology has given a detailed note on the Implementation of IRM: PBW project in Coimbatore district. The chief guest. Mrs. Meenambigai, Assistant Director of Agriculture. Pollachi North Block has given a note on Importance of Millet crops and their health benefits to commemorate the occasion of the International year of Millets 2023.
A series of lectures and trainings from the different disciplines were organised during the training programme viz..
A Farmers field training was organised by the ICAR-CICR, Regional station, Coimbatore at Kalathur village of Pollachi North block in Coimbatore district on 23.09.2022. Critical inputs viz., Pheromone traps (2 no’s/acre) plus pectino-lure and Nimbecidine-500ml (neem based emulsifiable concentrate containing 0.03% Azadirachtin) were distributed to the beneficiaries of IRM project in the Kalathur, Athiyur Puravipalayam. Vadakkipalayam and Perumpathi villages. The event has been followed by a field demonstration on the monitoring of pink bollworm adult moths using pheromone traps and 60 farmers have participated in the program.