The institute would host a three-day national symposium on ‘Blending conventional and modern plant pathology for sustainable agriculture’ .

At a time when nearly one-third of the population is starving and 40 per cent of children are malnourished in the country, food crops worth Rs. 90,000 crore are being lost every year to diseases and pests.

As this problem is assuming serious proportions, about 250 scientists from across the country in the field of plant pathology are set to brainstorm at the Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR) in Bangalore on Tuesday to find ways and means of reducing food crop loss due to diseases so that it is possible to not only increase food production, but also make agriculture a viable economic option for farmers.

For sustainable agriculture

Director of the Indian Institute of Horticultural Research Amrik Singh Sidhu told presspersons in Bangalore on Monday that the institute would host a three-day national symposium on ‘Blending conventional and modern plant pathology for sustainable agriculture’ starting on Tuesday.

The symposium is being jointly organised by the IIHR, University of Agricultural Sciences - Bangalore and the Indian Phytopathological Society. “The symposium will come out with an action plan as well as a roadmap for management of various diseases causing crop losses,” he said.

Ripple effect

Expressing concern over the seriousness of the situation, he pointed out that there were many classic examples in the history of plant pathology wherein fungal diseases in potato, rice and other crops had caused famines and led to loss of human lives.

IIHR’s Plant Pathology Division Principal Scientist P. Chowdappa said import of fruits and vegetables too had contributed to increase in the incidence of new diseases.

More In: Karnataka | National