Digitising records and adopting modern working culture and technologies will help in protecting research materials, said P.L. Gautam, Chairman, National Bio-diversity Authority of India, here on Sunday.

Participating in a discussion meeting organised in entomology on ‘Molecular Strategies in Insect-Plant Interaction: Role of Chemical Ecology in Host Specialisation,’ Dr.Gautam said national institutions such as Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, have a collection of more than 20,000 species. Documenting them properly would help in taking up more research works.

Efforts should be made on synergising the functioning of plant bio-technologists, pathologists and other members of the same faculty, he said. Meetings of this kind would help in increasing crop production, resulting in better revenue for farmers.

Speaking at the meeting M.S.Swaminathan, agricultural scientist said in a recently concluded international symposium on ‘Food Security,’ held in Rome it was estimated that about 1 billion people would be suffering due to hunger. One of the agendas of the Millennium Development Goals was to reduce this number to fifty per cent by 2015. For such programme, efforts of Prof. T.N. Ananthakrishnan would definitely help as he was working on insects, pests and plants interactions, he said.

In India majority of the consumers were farmers. So there was a need to increase their income. Taking up studies on loss of agricultural productivity due to insects and pests both at the time of growing and storing them would help in augmenting their income, he said.

Taking the technology from the laboratories to the fields is inadequate now, as more and more challenges are cropping up these days. Citing the example of Norman Borlaug, Nobel laureate, Dr.Swaminathan said even on the day he died, Borlaug created an equipment to test the soil quality and was handed over to the farmers.

A book titled ‘Insect Biodiversity’ edited by Prof.Ananthakrishnan was released by Dr.Swaminathan and Dr.Gautam received it. Prof. R.W. Alexander Jesudasan, principal, Madras Christian College also spoke on the occasion.

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