Pudukkottai District Collector launches mobile plant clinic
MSSRF’s Village Resource Centre (VRC) has introduced a mobile plant clinic van equipped with digital technology to diagnose plant health issues. On April 12, the Pudukkottai District Collector – Ms Kavitha Ramu, IAS, unveiled the mobile plant clinic in the presence of the District Revenue Officer, Project Director, District Rural Development Agency, Deputy Director of Agriculture, and district representatives from other departments of government of Tamil Nadu.
While the Collector and government officials were informed about various amenities the mobile unit offers by Dr R. Rajkumar, Principal Scientist – MSSRF. He also explained the partnership with CABI along with relevant key stakeholders for the Plant Clinic initiative in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Assam, Odisha, and Kerala for the last five years.
40000 diseased crop samples have been test by MSSRF so far, and this experience has encouraged the idea of a mobile unit to reach farmers effectively. The plant clinic van is equipped with digital tools and multimedia communication capabilities to meet farmer requirements. “Plant clinics are extremely popular with farmers, and based on their recommendations we have designed the mobile unit,” Dr Rajkumar explains. The van caters to farmers from Pudukkottai and Thanjavur districts, and is available to communities where MSSRF is working.
Using a variety of diagnostic instruments including a digital microscope, trained plant doctors will analyse samples and provide environment-friendly recommendations. Through the use of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), Integrated Disease Management (IDM), and Integrated Nutrient Management (INM) principles, the plant clinic effort assists farmers in identifying exact issues with their crops and provides suitable treatments specific to problems. Input costs and yield loss is reduced, and improves income reasonably.
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.