SKUAST-K celebrates ‘International Day of Plant Health’

Experts caution about importing plant material via e-Commerce

Srinagar: Experts at Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Science & Technology of Kashmir Thursday warned about importing plant material through e-commerce channels without proper quarantine and phytosanitary controls as such products have high chances of spreading various diseases.
The experts were speaking at an event held to commemorate the International Day of Plant Health-2022 at SKUAST-K’s Faculty of Agriculture, Wadura.
Every year International Day of Plant Health is celebrated on May 12 with an aim to raise awareness for the safety of plants. SKUAST-K’s Biodiversity Club has organised the event in collaboration with the Division of Entomology & Plant Pathology, Faculty of Agriculture, Wadura under the ICAR-World Bank funded National Agricultural Higher Education Project (NAHEP) for the institutional development of the university.
Dean Faculty of Agriculture, Prof Raihana Habib Kanth and other esperts who spoke at the occasion, said agriculture faculty and students have to make the general public aware of the risks involved in importing plants and plant products across borders as they may be infected with various diseases or harbour pestss. “We need to be careful when ordering plants and plant products through channels such as e-commerce with postal services that bypass regular phytosanitary controls,” said Prof Kanth.
It is important to purchase from reputable companies that provide international phytosanitary certification for the safe trade of plants and plant products, she said.
Prof Kanth said that farmers can prevent the spread of pests by using only certified pest-free seeds and seedlings, and by regularly monitoring, controlling and reporting the occurrence of unusual pests on their farms. They should adopt environmentally friendly pest management practices, including those based on biological approaches that do not kill pollinators and use beneficial insects and organisms.
She also added that SKUAST-K working directly with farmers can raise awareness about best practices for preventing and managing pests and provide them with practical support in implementing these practices.
The programme was attended by heads of various divisions, faculty members and more than 65 UG/PG students of the faculty & students of nearby schools.

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