PLANT PATHOLOGY FOR SUSTAINABILITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
Academic Staff College, Rajasthan Agricultural University, Bikaner, Rajasthan, India
Background and objectives
Sustainability and environmental protection can be holistically achieved by effective management of microbial components of the plant-animal-environmental triangle.
Results and conclusions
In order to achieve the mandate of Agenda 21, plant pathology will have to introduce or intensify the following strategies.
(i) Assess critically the impact of current productivity-increasing technologies (what is the level of chemical and mechanical intensiveness of the technologies in different agroclimatic regions, and what will be the impact of the present fast-changing scenario).
(ii) Assess critically the food losses at various levels.
(iii) Determine technology-related profitability, sustainabilfty and stability levels that can be achieved through knowledge-intensive and eco-friendly technologies (gear research programmes to generate/refine knowledge-intensive and eco-friendly technologies: Mendelian, molecular, traditional, front-line technologies, etc., and their combinations).
(iv) Gear research programmes to determine productivity-related profitability, sustainability and stability levels in the agroclimatic zones. (v) Evaluate disease management in total farming systems and enhance management strategies that sustain the farming system rather than single crop production.
(vi) Enhance disease management in the non-food grains and non-crop-based sectors.
(vii) Introduce market orientation in disease management.
(viii) Have disease management systems that can respond to changing conditions.
(ix) Introduce research programmes to generate technologies for integrated farming systems to open up multiple income-earning opportunities.
(x) Link plant pathology with new technologies in areas as diverse as aquaculture, dairy, poultry, horticulture, state-of-the-art water-saving devices, plastics, new seeds, etc.
(xi) Use modern methods for resource inventory, particularly for microbial aspects of air, land and water.
(xii) Explore space technologies, thematic mapping and computer-related options and identify and resolve constraints in operationalizing the benefits.
(xiii) Identify fresh research programmes on new approaches, e.g. biotechnology, exotic crops, nutrients and pesticides which are safer and less toxic, etc.
(xiv) Ensure crop health in introductions of new genetic materials in non-traditional areas.
(xv) Ensure crop health in high-density fruit orchards, livestock and poultry.
(xvi) Induce newer strategies to accelerate the food processing and export industries.
(xvii) Ensure crop health in hybrid varieties of vegetables.
(xviii) Ensure crop health in micropropagaton of fruit and plantation crops.
(xix) Enhance value-added commodities.
(xx) Intensify post-harvest research.
(xxi) Ensure conservation of land, water, forests, biodiversity and the protection of the atmosphere.
(xxii) Stimulate efficient research, education and extension strategies to assist marketing systems, both to take full advantage of emerging opportunities in international trade and to ensure that research and extension designed to promote public good receive adequate support. (xxiii) Develop networks or linkages for solution of problems of integrated farming systems, cooperatives, village groups, growing of newer crops, marketing and energy problems, facilitate the 'Plant Pathology for Sustainable Food and Nutrition Security' movement, blend traditional and frontier technologies in socially equitable, economically viable and environmentally sustainable technologies.
(xxvi) Focus research on neglected crops such as minor millets, leguminous grains, leafy vegetables and tubers which can perform in times of environmental stress and in agriculturally marginal areas such as arid and semi-arid, coastal and mountainous regions.
(xxvii) Plant pathology to develop as an effective component of a scientific framework to integrate post-harvest technologies, distribution systems and rural development, as well as economic and social aspects.
(xxviii) Enhance empowerment of the poor, especially women.
(xxix) Promotion of sustainable livelihoods through multiple income-earning opportunities, such as can be offered through crop-livestock-fish integration, agroprocessing and agribusiness.
(xxx) Combat desertificaton and deforestation.
(xxxi) Plant pathology to become an effective component of a systems approach with a holistic view of production, distribution and consumption.
(xxxii) Dissemination of plant pathology extension information through computer-aided information shops operated by village youth.
(xxxiii) Improving post-harvest technologies including storage, non-CFC-based refrigeration, packing with biodegradable materials and efficient transportation and delivery.