Demand for effective bio-pesticides rising across the globe
: Young research scholars and the scientists working on the synthesis of bio-pesticides that play a pivotal role in controlling the pests without polluting environment should make use of the funds available with the Union Government's Department of Science and Technology (DST) for their research, G.J. Samathanam, Head, Technology Development and Transfer, DST, Government of India, has said.
Inaugurating the third biennial international conference on ‘Bio-pesticides' at St. Xavier's College, Palayamkottai, on Monday, Dr. Samathanam said demand for effective and eco-friendly bio-pesticides that would efficaciously replace the chemical pesticides, most of them having carcinogenic effect, was on the rise across the globe. After realising the perilous impacts of these chemical agents, the consumers were searching for the agro products grown with harmless bio-pesticides.
“Though awareness in this connection has increased and even farmers have realised the chemical pesticides' harmful effects, most of them are still using it. To increase the shelf-life (of fruits and vegetables), certain chemical pesticides are being used. If this dangerous situation is allowed to continue, consumers, at least to protect themselves, may be in need of a sensor-based gadget that can identify the agricultural produce grown with harmful chemical pesticides,” said Dr. Samathanam.
To encourage the young research scholars and the scientists involved in the formulation of bio-pesticides, the Government of India was giving assistance up to 85 per cent of the project cost.
He said that the Central Insecticide Board, following rigorous tests and trials, had approved 13 bio-pesticides and was prepared to authorise more such natural insect killers, provided it cleared the mandatory tests and trials.
Dr. Samathanam urged the conveners of the conference to bring out an edited version of the proceedings of the programme so that it would be of great help to the scientists working on formulating bio-pesticides and bridge the gaps in the research activities.
Entomologist from the United States of America Christopher J. Geden said the food security, a global concern, should be ensured while the environment-friendly bio-pesticides replaced the chemical pesticides. He presented the ‘lead paper' of the conference on ‘Status of microbial control of house flies'.
Principal of the college Rev. Fr. Alphonse Manickam SJ said young scholars under the age of 32, who would submit outstanding research papers in the conference, would be honoured.
Rector, St. Xavier's Educational Institutions, Palayamkottai, Rev.Fr. Britto Vincent SJ, and secretary, SXC, A. Arockiyasamy SJ spoke.