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Four days International Conference on Plant Health Management – Innovations and Sustainability was inaugurated which was organized by Plant Protection Association of India at PJTSAU Hyderabad on 15 th November 2023 Thursday. Addressing the inaugural session, the chief guest M. Raghunandan Rao, APC and Secretary, Dept. of Agri and Cooperation, Govt. of Telangana and Vice Chancellor, PJTSAU said that food safety shall be the primary goal, agricultural scientists and industry should work in this direction. He also said that, coming 50 years are crucial from plant health management aspects.

He advised to empower the farmers with technology for sustainable crop production and said that, farmers should be aware of precision agriculture where no additional pesticide should left in the plant, soil or in the environment. He further said that, information asymmetry is prevailing amongst the farmers as they are not aware of the right molecule for the pest related problems and this has to be addressed with due care and informed that, Telangana state is performing at 2% growth rate in the last decade which is a positive sign to reckon with. On the occasion, he urged the scientific community for innovation which will address soil degradation, water pollution and pesticide residues.

Dr. Sarada Jayalakshmi Devi, Vice Chancellor, ANGRAU while addressing the gathering has informed that, there is a need to identify resistant genes for various pests and diseases to develop promising high yielding varieties. She also said that, excessive use of chemicals to control various pests and diseases leading to minor pests becoming major one. On the occasion, she has said that, focus should be on bio-control agents, natural enemies and ecofriendly applications towards attaining sustainability. Dr. S.C. Dubey, ADG Plant protection and Biosafety, ICAR, GOI, New Delhi while addressing the gathering has informed that, new agricultural technologies should be developed to address the plant health management to minimize the higher chemical usage in agriculture. He focused on judicious use of pesticides, good agricultural practices and scientists should focus on quality research publications. RC Agarwal , Chairman, Dhanuka group while addressing the conference advised that, there is a need to escalate the Indian average crop yields to meet the food requirements of burgeoning population. He also said that, India’s pesticide consumption is very less among the world, so judicious use of pesticides is need of the hour to reduce the food loss due to various pests and diseases. KRK Reddy, CEO, Sri Bio Aesthetics pvt. Ltd. said that, there is a need to reduce the usage of chemical fertilizers and pesticides and to encourage biological, natural substances for sustainable food production. Dr. B. Sharat Babu, President PPAI and Chairman of the International Conference on Plant Health Management while delivering the welcome address has narrated the historical journey of PPAI since 1972 and informed to the gathering that the Association is privileged to celebrate the golden jubilee. On the occasion, special postal cover to commemorate the golden jubilee celebrations, souvenir and edited abstracts of the research articles were released by the dignitaries. On the occasion, scientists from across different parts of the India received awards from PPAI for their contribution in the field of plant protection. Life time Contribution award was presented to Dr. DV Raghava Reddy, Dr. KSRK Murthy for their notable contribution. Dr. B. Sharat Babu, Dr. Julius Diwakar, Dr. TB Gaur, Dr. Anitha , Dr. Chalapathi Rao received awards in various categories.

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