Plant Protection continues to play a significant role in achieving targets of crops production. The major thrust areas of plant protection are promotion of Integrated Pest management, ensuring availability of safe and quality pesticides for sustaining crop production from the ravages of pests and diseases, streamlining the quarantine measures for accelerating the introduction of new high yielding crop varieties, besides eliminating the chances of entry of exotic pests and for human resource development including empowerment of women in plant protection skills.
Keeping in view the ill effects of pesticide and also National policy on Agriculture, Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach has been adopted as a cardinal principle and main plank of plant protection in the country in the overall crop production programme. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a broad ecological approach for managing pest problems encompassing available methods and techniques of pest control such as cultural, mechanical, biological and chemical in a compatible manner. The objectives of the IPM approach are to increase crop production with minimum input costs, minimize environmental pollution and maintain ecological equilibrium.
The Locust Warning Organization (LWO) would continue to keep constant vigil on locust activity in the scheduled desert Area of 2.00 lakh sq. km. The Remote Sensing Laboratory, Jodhpur, the locust control potential of LWO (10 circles and 1 hq.) and locust research facilities at FSIL, Bikaner are also being strengthened during X Plan. Keeping in view the locust invasion of 1993, Locust Surveillance in the strategic areas has been intensified. India is a member of Desert Locust Control Committee of FAO & South West Asia Commission for Desert Locust control.
Quality control of pesticides would be accorded highest priority to ensure that the agro-chemicals used have the requisite degree of efficacy. The existing facilities of Central Insecticide Laboratory, Regional Pesticides Testing Laboratories, at Chandigarh and Kanpur would be strengthened to supplement the resources of state/UT Governments in the analysis of pesticides samples for monitoring their quality to ensure availability of quality pesticides to the farmers.
In Plant Quarantine, besides on-going activities, the thrust area will be pertaining to Pest Risk Analysis (PRA) and post entry quarantine surveillance. This has become essential in the light of World Trade Organization (WTO) agreement, which will facilitate more and speedier movement of plants, planting materials globally. Such a situation will expose a linking danger for the introduction of exotic pests/diseases in the country. Considering this fact, Ministry of Agriculture issued a notification entitled “The Plant Quarantine (Regulation of Import into India) order 2003” replacing the “The Plants, Fruits & seeds (Regulation of Import into India) order 1989”. The new regulation is effective from 01.01.2004. The existing Plant Quarantine Stations will be strengthened and there is possibility to establish some more stations with a view to enforce the quarantine regulations more effectively so as to keep the exotic pests and diseases at bay.