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Bio-pesticides for sustainable crop production

Plant parasitic nematodes are one of the major biotic constraints in horticultural crops causing a yield loss of 15-20% under field conditions which can exceed up to 45-50% under protected conditions.  As indiscriminate use of  chemical nematicides pose serious threat to environment and human health, IIHR has developed eco-friendly technologies for sustainable management of nematode problems in horticultural crops viz., tomato, capsicum, cabbage, cauliflower, gerbera, carnation, tuberose, chillies, banana and papaya.

IIHR developed six biopesticide technologies viz., Paecilomyces lilacinus 1% W. P., Trichoderma harzianum – 1% W.P, Pseudomonas fluorescens – 1% W.P., Trichoderma viride – 1.5% W.P,  Verticillium chlamydosporium (Pochonia chlamydosporia) – 1% W.P, Arka plant growth enhancer and yield promoter. Bio-pesticide technologies such as Bacillus subtilis and Bacillus pumilis are being generated.

IIHR has been granted seven international patents and one Indian patent on bio-pesticide technologies.  Dr. M. S. Rao, Principal Scientist, Division of Entomology and Nematology is the INNOVATOR of all these technologies.

The biopesticide technologies were transferred to about 320 licensees all over India. All these industries are promoting the use of bio-pesticides for sustainable production of crops all over India through their extension and promotional activities. Nationwide, these technologies are widely adopted on a large scale. Farmers who adopted the IIHR bio-pesticide technology reduced the use of agro-chemicals to 35 – 40% extent and obtained 24 to 32% increased yields in various horticultural crops.

ICAR- IIHR conducted field days to disseminate the awareness on the use of    biopesticides in crops grown under protected and open field conditions. Shri. Vishwanatha Reddy, progressive farmer from Agalagurki, Chikkaballapur, shared his experience with the farmers that the use of bio-agents reduced 30% of his chemical application and boosted the yield by 30% in capsicum grown under protected conditions. Shri. Hanumatharayappa and Shri. Rajanna, progressive farmers from Thammarasanahalli shared their experiences with the farmers that the use of bio-agents can boost   crop yield of tomato and chilli (Anaheim type) by reducing the infestation of nematodes and associated diseases.

(Source- IIHR, Bangalore)

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