Bayer, a global enterprise with core competencies in agriculture and healthcare life sciences, recently hosted the first-ever national conference on ‘Plant Parasitic Nematodes’ in Bengaluru. Distinguished industry leaders, Bayer representatives, and more than 70 eminent nematologists from across the country attended the conference.
The keynote address was given by Ravishankar Cherukuri, Vice President Marketing, India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, Bayer CropScience Limited.
The conference’s focus was on the status of nematode problems in crops, which was highlighted by guest lectures from various experts. Dr. H.S. Gaur (Former Vice Chancellor, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel University of Agriculture & Technology, Modipuram, and Former Dean, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi), Dr. P. Parvatha Reddy (Former Director, Indian Institute of Horticultural Research), and Dr. D.J. Patel (Former Dean and Principal, Anand Agricultural University) were among the prominent nematologists who attended the conference.
Plant parasitic nematodes, like other insect pests and diseases, not only damage agriculture and horticulture crops but also accentuate diseases caused by fungal, bacterial and viral pathogens leading to “disease complexes”. During the conference, participants and Bayer representatives discussed ways, such as joint ventures, to develop tangible future nematode management strategies that benefit the farming community.
“This conference is a first-of-its-kind for the industry, where corporates and experts have come together to discuss these issues that directly impact our farmers and farming communities,” Ravishankar Cherukuri, Vice President Marketing, India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, Bayer CropScience Limited, said at the conference. “We are excited to see long-term partnerships form between various entities to address the need for farmer awareness of nematodes and solutions that benefit them.”
“Integrated management with bioagents, novel chemistry, traits, and cultural practises should ensure effective management of Nematodes in vegetables,” said Dr. NG Ravichandra, Former Professor, Department of Plant Pathology, University of Agricultural Sciences, Bengaluru.
“Use of nematode-free planting material, soil less propagation, better fumigation methods and nursery certifications are important for managing Nematode problems in spices and condiments” added Dr S Eapen, Former Director, Indian Institute of Spice Research.
The conference attendees expressed hope that their technical expertise and resources could be used to effectively manage crop nematode diseases through a collaboration between the corporate sector and academia.
First published on: 03 Feb 2023, 14:11 IST