‘Show and Tell’ workshop to explain how the sensor-based pheromone trap can help farmers with monitoring Fall Army Worms
A day-long ‘Show and Tell’ to showcase research done on the sensor-based pheromone trap that helps to monitor and control the Fall Army Worm (FAW) was organised in Pudukkottai district, Tamilnadu, on June 30. The workshop was attended by 80 participants including representatives from the Department of Agriculture, Farmers Producers Organisations (FPO), and NGOs working in the agricultural sector. Scientists demonstrated how the sensor-based pheromone trap works and how it differs from conventional pheromone traps, also clarifying several questions from the audience.
In his keynote speech, Derek Scuffell – CEO of Knowmatics, spoke of how the trap aims to provide an efficient method to monitor FAW population. The device allows remote monitoring of insects, and data collected can be linked to satellites. “This technology enables real-time monitoring of FAW from anywhere in the world, and farmers can now cease to use funnel traps to monitor FAW adult activity and mass trapping,” he explained.
Research on the trap is underway and several trials have begun on farmer-fields. The objective is to develop an improved version that can be adopted widely by scientists, agricultural department personnel, and farmers. The integration of the sensor-based pheromone trap with other types of traps is expected to enhance agricultural production.
During the workshop, R. Ganesamoorthy – Crop Health Advisor at CABI; Dr. Jenna Ross – Development Manager from CHAP; Prof. Murugan from Tamil Nadu Agriculture University (TNAU); and Dr. Raja Ramesh – Assistant Professor of Entomology at the National Pulses Research Station (NPRC), Vamban; and M. Rajaram – Secretary of M. Puskaram College of Agricultural Sciences (PCAS), explained the research, the roles of project partners and the future actions.
Project partners also met with the District Collector – Tmt. I.S. Mercy Ramya IAS, to explain the research and how it can benefit farmers, scientists, the Department of Agriculture, as well as policymakers.
This was a joint effort by M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF), Centre for Agriculture and Bio Science International (CABI), Crop Health and Protection (CHAP), Knowmatics, and Puskaram College of Agricultural Sciences (PCAS). The event was presided over by Dr. R. Rajkumar, Principal Scientist at MSSRF.
M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) established in 1988 is a not-for-profit trust. MSSRF was envisioned and founded by Professor M S Swaminathan, agriculture scientist with proceeds from the First World Food Prize that he received in 1987.