MSSRF-CABI “Plant Doctors” provide timely advice to save crops
Farmer Malaisamy of Kosure village, Karur district, Tamil Nadu was hoping for a lucrative Brinjal crop in the Margali pattam (Rabi season) of 2015. It was however a disaster with White Fly infestation at flowering. The input dealer’s recommended chemical did not help. He lost nearly 150 kg of fruit picking, a loss of Rs 1500 every alternate day, huge amount for a small farmer with just two acres of land.
It was at this time that a knowledge worker in MSSRF’s Manpathai Village Knowledge Centre suggested that Malaisamy visit their ‘plant clinics’. These clinics are an opportunity for infested plant samples to be assessed by ‘plant doctors’ and to suggest remedies. If required they seek further expert opinion. The knowledge worker suggested that Malaisamy could bring an affected plant sample to this clinic.
In the clinic, the plant doctors inspected Malaisamy’s plant sample with a handheld microscope and diagnosed it as leaf curl virus infestation. They explained the symptoms, preventive methods and measures to control this. The doctor stressed the urgency of preventing spread of virus by uprooting affected plants, placing yellow sticky traps, and recommended quantity of diluted insecticide.
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.