Experts share facts on saving grains from pests

CSIR-Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysuru organised a one-day national webinar on “Fumigation and alternative methods for safe storage and trade of foodgrains: Current and future prospects” here recently.

UPL Ltd., Mumbai, an agrochemical production and marketing limited multi-national firm having the expertise in the area of fumigation, sponsored and was involved in organising the webinar. CSIR-CFTRI had signed MoU for sharing technical knowhow with UPL earlier this year.

Sridevi Annapurna Singh, Director, CSIR-CFTRI, Mysuru inaugurated the webinar which is coordinated by Food Protectants and Infestation Control (FPIC) Department. She spoke about the importance of grain storage as well as loss of nutritive value of the grain due to insect pest infestations.

She also highlighted the requirement of grain storage silos, alternative fumigants and bio fumigants for safe storage of foodgrains etc.

Prakash M. Halami, Chief Scientist and Head, FPIC Department, spoke on grain storage loss due to insect pests and food grain damage caused by about 100 different species of insects predominantly comprising weevils, borers, beetles and moths.

He also pointed out ozone layer depletion, insect resistance against phosphine due to excessive usage of fumigants, and limitation of ozone gas as a fumigant. Hence, the need for an integrated pest management approach in grain storage management is highly focussed on the current scenario.

The webinar was themed on six different research fields namely Grain storage management, Fumigation technology, Hermetic technology, Biocontrol technology, Fumigant monitoring, and Regulatory aspects.

Experts working in the field of grain storage management and pest infestation control delivered lectures at the webinar. P. Srinivas Rao, Professor, IIT, Kharagpur spoke on modern grain storage structures for safe storage of post-harvest food grains.

Three experts from UPL, Mumbai - S. Rajendran (Consultant), Ujjawal Kumar (Business Head), and Rajneesh Kumar (Technical Advisor) shared their knowledge in the area of fumigation and stored grain protection; fumigant monitoring and safety; and the importance of fumigation regulatory aspects in trade and export.

S. Sumithra Devi, from FPIC Department delivered a lecture on the need of organic pesticides, and challenges and opportunities of bio-based fumigants for safe storage of food grains. Praveen Gupta from GrainPro Inc., Noida talked about hermetic technology and non-chemical methods of infestation control.

At the end of the technical session, a panel discussion was also organised. A total of 73 participants including academicians, pest control operators and students, and researchers from different parts of the country had joined the webinar which provided an opportunity to the young scientists and budding researchers working in food protection and safety research.

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Printable version | May 27, 2022 3:15:06 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/experts-share-facts-on-saving-grains-from-pests/article65406830.ece