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Proceedings of 8th Nematode Awareness Day cum Farmer-Scientist Interaction programme

An innovative means of nematode awareness campaign was initiated by Association for Advancement in Plant Protection (AAPP), Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya (BCKV) in partnership with El Tel Agro Marvels Pvt Ltd since 2006. Every year 7th July is observed as a Nematode Awareness Day. This year 8th Nematode Awareness Day & FarmerScientist Interaction Programme was jointly organised by AAPP of BCKV, Kalyani, Nadia; Agricultural Technology Management Agency(ATMA), Siliguri and eL Tel Pvt Ltd on 7th July 2013 at Block Seed Farm, Salbari of Siliguri Sub-division in the Darjeeling district.

Over 83 participants from 8 districts of West Bengal were assembled and familiarized with the visual impact of nematodes on rice, tuberose, jute, pointed gourd, poi, okra and other vegetables. The details of the participants benefited (inset news in Bengali Daily) are given below: District Blocks Number of participants Darjeeling Phansidewa 28 Khoribari 22 Jalpaiguri Mainaguri 7 Japaiguri Sadar Dhupguri Falakata Uttar Dinajpur Kaliaganj 6 Goalpokher- I Raiganj Itahar Dakshin Dinajpur Kumargram 5 Kusmandi Coochbehar Coochbehar- I 4 Dinhata Sitalkuchi Malda Bamongola 2 Gajol Hooghly Polba 6 Haripal Bankura Sadar 3 83

The participants primarily comprised farmers, input dealers, NGOs, KVKs, and Krishi Pryukti Sahayaks (KPSs), Government Officers from State Department etc. Among the others, Project Director, ATMA (Siliguri), Deputy Project Director, SMS, Assistant Director of Agriculture(SM) Siliguri, Assistant Director of Agriculture of Phansidewa, Falakata and Naxalbari and KPSs of different block also participated in this programme. The programme was started with registration of participants followed by an inaugural speech by Dr D.J. Patel, Former Principal and Dean of BA Collage of Agriculture, Anand, Gujarat. In his inaugural speech, he elaborately discussed about the present scenario of nematode at different parts of India. He also discussed the strategies to be taken up to manage the field problems of crops by adopting Integrated Crop Management. His presentation indicated alternatives of Methyl Bromide for soil fumigation in open-field as well protected cultivation system giving emphasis on Dazomet, Metham- Sodium and Suzone, use of organic matter, enriched FYM and application of bioagents for managing soil pathogens including nematodes. Participants were acquainted with nematode infestation (photographs below) in rice seedling, bhindi (okra), jute, tuberose, pointed gourd, red amaranth, cabbage, etc. by Dr. D.J. Patel, Dr. S.K. Laha and Dr M.R. Khan.

There was an open-house discussion session chaired by Dr. D.J. Patel. Expert panel includes Dr. S.K. Laha, Retd Principal Scientist (Nematology), CRIJAF(ICAR), Dr. M.R. Khan, AICRP(Nematode), Kalyani Centre (BCKV), Dr. S.K. Ray, Plant Pathologist (BCKV), Dr. Washim Reja, Entomologist (UBKV), T.K. Bhusan, Project Director, ATMA (Siliguri), Dr. P. Das, ADA (Admin.), Dr. Mahfuz Ahmad, ADA, Khoribari, Mr. Somnath Sil, ADA, Siliguri, etc. Dr. Khan dilated the house about the present scenario of nematode problems in West Bengal and emerging threats of nematodes in rice nurseries and in offseason cole crops. During post- lunch session, Dr. Patel discussed the nematode infestation in tobacco and its management. He also emphasised the use of resistant cultivars to combat the situation. He presented the Dr. Laha shared his experience on nematode performance of the variety ABT- 10 in infestation in jute, mesta and others crops Gujarat elaborately. along with their management options. Dr. Khan showed a power-point presentation on field symptoms of nematode infestation in different crops for diagnosis of nematode problems with their possible remedies. On this occasion, a colourful diagnostic book on Pests and diseases of rice and their integrated management (in Bengali) was released by ATMA- Siliguri.

This presentation follows vigourous discussion with the participants. Farmer-participants enthusiastically asked various queries on nematodes including other soil pathogens and their protection problems in various crops. The problems were heard and experts of relevant fields responded with probable solutions. In this interaction session, officers of ATMA (Siliguri) informed the house with seeking clarifications on current nematode problems in field situations of different blocks. Finally, the programme ended with very warm and encouraging response from the participants and thanks to and from the chair. Reported by Dr M.R. Khan, BCKV, Kalyani