About the project


Sponsored by:                Department of Agriculture & Cooperation, Ministry of   Agriculture, Government of India

Implementing agency:   National Centre for Integrated Pest Management (NCIPM)  New  Delhi

Collaborating centre  -   Krishi Vigyan Kendra , Babhaleshwar  Tal.Rahata  Dist. Ahmednagar,  (MAHARASHTRA)

After introduction of Bt cotton, we could achieve effective management of Helicoverpa armigera and Earias spp., but it has been noticed out of field trials conducted under Technology Mission of Cotton IPM ((from 2003-04 – 2006-07) that pink bollworm  would pose a major threat to Bt cotton due to its crop-phenological niche and farmers’ practices of neglecting their crop and not terminating even after the crop’s potential yield period. Similarly there is a steady increase in infestation of sucking pests like jassids, white flies ,thrips aphids etc. The minor or unseen pests such as mirid bug, mealy bug and shoot weevil are also attaining economic importance in Bt cotton. Besides, in many locations, Bt cotton hybrids are grown in poor or marginal soils under rain fed situations, where the agronomic conditions do not support the high boll retention in Bt cotton hybrids consequently leading to abiotic stress situations. More attack of biotic stresses such as grey mildew, leaf spots, rusts, etc. in extended Bt cotton hybrids were also noted. Under such situations, they reduce net leaf area expressing cry toxin and may further inhibit the level of toxin expression too, which makes the plant more vulnerable to attack by bollworms. The pest problems, particularly that of minor pests, have not been monitored regularly and often remedial measures are undertaken only after they reach epidemic or cause huge losses. Mealy bugs in Gujarat and Punjab from 2006 onwards and Spodoptera infestation during 2005-06 in north zone and mirid bug in central zone were eye-openers to plant protection specialists and state agriculture departments. A regular monitoring of cotton pests, using preferably Information Communication Technologies and development of suitable IPM strategies is need of the hour, as it will lead to better preparedness by all agencies involved in plant protection and to issue proper advise to farmers based on actual pest problems. Now it is a high time for reorienting IPM approach in cotton. Development and implementation of suitable protection and related production packages is urgently required for improving the performance of Bt cotton. Though the Bt cotton led to increased yields and improved socioeconomic position of the farmers, but the sudden emergence of mealy bug (2006-07 and 2007-08) in Gujarat and Punjab has increased the cost of plant protection. This increase coupled with the high cost of seed cotton, is having a strong impact on socio-economic condition of the farmers. The change in socio-economic status of the farmers due to large scale cultivation of Bt cotton and its after effects  due to emergence of pest problems in India have not yet been studied in detail. Also there is a need to converge the pest scenario in Bt cotton throughout India, to know the shift in pest population, so as to enable our IPM missionary accordingly.

                 Keeping all these things in mind the project viz Online Pest Monitoring and Advisory Services  under National Food Security Mission is being implemented with the following objectives.