Presented at national conference on banana in Maharashtra

Three scientists of the National Research Centre for Banana (NRCB), Tiruchi, have bagged the Association for Improvement in Production and Utilisation of Banana (AIPUB) fellow awards in recognition of their contributions to banana research.

The awards were announced and presented at the national conference on banana organised jointly by the AIPUB, Confederation of Horticultural Association of India (CHAI), and Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd, at Jain Hills, Jalgaon, in Maharashtra recently.

The AIPUB Fellow Awards were presented to B.Padmanaban, Principal Scientist, Entomology, R.Thangavelu, Senior Scientist, Pathology, and V.Kumar, Senior Scientist, Horticulture, at the conference by Gulabrao Deokar, Minister of State for Agriculture and Transport, Maharashtra, in the presence of H.P.Singh, Deputy Director General, Horticulture, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, and M.M.Mustafa, Director, NRCB, according to a NRCB press release.

Dr.Padmanaban has been working on developing eco-friendly management technologies for major pests of banana such as weevils and aphid.

He has developed eco-friendly semiochemical traps for monitoring of banana corm and stem weevils and identified effective entomopathogenic fungi for effective control of banana weevils and aphid respectively. The technologies developed by him are popular with banana growers. He has also identified many new insect pests infesting bananas in the country.

Dr.Thangavelu has been working on various aspects of disease management of banana such as screening of germplasm for their resistance to diseases, molecular characterisation of various pathogens of banana, non-chemical method of management of diseases and induction of systemic resistance against diseases. He has also received the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru Award for the “Best Ph.D. research in crop protection” in 2003.

He was awarded the “Best writer award for his Tamil Book on banana by the State government in 2010. He was instrumental in developing a spray schedule for the effective management of eumusae leaf spot disease of banana.

Dr.Kumar has been involved in various research programmes and standardised various agro techniques for banana including technology for organic banana production, optimum time of planting, high density planting, integrated nutrient management, drip and fertigation techniques, integrated weed management and other production technologies for enhancing the production and productivity of different commercial cultivars of banana. He has been actively involved in transfer of technology to farmers.