Chennai: Bayer, a global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of agriculture and healthcare, organised the first ever national conference on ‘Plant Parasitic Nematodes’ recently in Bengaluru. The conference was attended by distinguished industry leaders, representatives from Bayer and more than 70 eminent nematologists from across the country. Mr. Ravishankar Cherukuri, Vice President Marketing, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, Bayer CropScience Limited delivered the keynote address.
The focus of the conference was on the status of nematode problems in crops, which was highlighted through the guest lectures from various experts. Among the prominent nematologists, 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), participated in the conference.
The annual national conference by Bayer is a step in the right direction to raise awareness among stakeholders about crop damaging Nematodes. Plant parasitic nematodes, like other insect pests and diseases, not only damage agriculture and horticulture crops, but they also contribute towards accentuating 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 formulate tangible futuristic strategies for nematode management and bring benefits to the farming community.
Speaking at the conference, Mr. Ravishankar Cherukuri, Vice President Marketing, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, Bayer CropScience Limited said, “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. We are excited to see long-term associations develop between various entities to address the need for Nematode awareness amongst farmers and solutions that benefit them.”
Dr NG Ravichandra, Former Professor, Department of Plant Pathology, University of Agricultural Sciences, Bengaluru said “Integrated management with bioagents novel chemistry, traits along with cultural practices should ensure effective management of Nematodes in vegetables.”
“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.
Through a partnership between the corporate sector and academia, the conference attendees expressed hope that their technical expertise and resources can be utilised in the effective management of nematode diseases of crops.