SKUAST-K holds 5-day apple disease management training

Srinagar: A five-day skill training programme on ‘Integrated Pest Management in Apple’ concluded on Sunday at the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Kashmir at the Shalimar campus.
The training was organized by the university’s Division of Entomology under the World Bank-ICAR funded National Agricultural Higher Education Project for the institutional development of SKUAST-K from April 24-28. More than 37 postgraduate students, doctoral scholars, departmental functionaries, orchardists, faculty and staff members participated in the training programme. The participants were trained by IPM specialists of Apple in India.
Also, six products of the pheromone technology laboratory associated with the Division of Entomology were launched by Vice-Chancellor Prof Mushtaq Ahmad at the event.
The V-C at the occasion said the launch of these products will minimize pesticide issues and other health hazards. He stressed the role of pheromone technology for pest management in apple and suggested the launch of new products for turf grubs and other insect pests in different ecosystems. Prof MH Balkhi, Director Education, SKUAST-K appreciated the role of pest management and shared his valuable views on the launch of these products. Prof Nazir Ahmad, Director Planning & Monitoring and PI NAHEP appreciated the role of pheromone technology in pest management and collaborating this important event as apple crop directly contributes significantly towards the economy of J&K and increases the GDP of the UT. Prof GM Lone, head Division of Entomology provided the overall view of the training programme and its role in shaping the future management in apple and its importance to make the educated skilled under apple industry for entrepreneurship development. Dr Barkat Hussain, in charge of Pheromone Technology Laboratory, briefed about the launch of six products (Pheromone lures for codling moth, fruit flies, delta traps and low-cost traps) and the role of pheromones in future and also provided the vote of thanks to the Vice-Chancellor and other dignitaries for the launch of these products.
Besides, the educated young minds pursuing Masters, Scholars (doctoral) and young faculty were given hands-on training how to use and explore the high-tech instruments (GC, GCMS, GCMSMS, HPLC and other high-end analytical instruments for pheromone testing, volatile collections, Y tube olfactometry, and quantification of different blends and qualitative and quantitative estimation of plant metabolites and their role in the pesticide industry. They were also briefed about the role of qualitative and quantitative testing of pesticide residues in fruits and vegetables and their importance in fruit trade in the present global world. The hands-on training was also provided to mass production of entomopathogens, other biocontrol agents (predators and Parasitoids) and the role of establishing the bioagents in Plant health management. They were also made aware of the identification of key insect pests on apple, the nature of the damage, their identification and damaging stages and followed by the recent advances in pest management.
Dr Barkat Hussain, organizing secretary of the Programme lauded the participants for the role of establishing their own industries for solving the farmers’ problems by adopting these technologies which are benign and pollution-free. He encouraged the participants to be the job providers for future generation and encouraged the talented young minds to come with novel ideas for solving the farmer’s problems and to explore waterless technologies for the management of various insect pests in different ecosystems.

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