26th August, 2014, Bangalore
A brain storming meet on bio-security issues in relation to insect and quarantine was held at National Bureau of Agriculturally Important Insects (NBAII) here today.
Dr. Abrham Verghese, Director, NBAII welcomed the dignitaries, Dr K. Satya Gopal, IAS, DG, National Institute of Plant Health Management (NIPHM), Hyderabad, Dr. S. N. Sushil, Plant Protection Advisor-GOI, New Delhi, and Dr. C.A. Viraktamath, Chairman, RAC (NBAII).
Dr. K. Satya Gopal highlighted the importance of biosecurity and touched upon the regulatory policies imposed by the government, the biodiversity act , the biosecurity analysis, management risks and plant quarantine order number 3 (relating to plant biosecurity). Quarantine for biosecurity must be addressed primarily and post entry quarantine needs to be built up at the level of villages and panchayats and awareness must be created, he said.
A-GOI, New Delhi, addressing the gathering
Dr S. N. Sushil mentioned the importance of biosecurity considering the vast geographical area of the country. The invasive could be from any point and the government is concerned about their management, mitigation and forewarning, considering the vast biodiversity of the nation.
Dr. Prashant Jacob, Scientist, Institute of Forest Genetics and Tree Breeding (IFGTB), presented an account of the successful biological control of eucalyptus gall wasp and the management strategies that were adopted. Steps taken included surveys, alerting by crash messages, R& D programmes, multilocation trials conducted, classical biological control, IPM, Host plant resistance and Gene silencing.
- The curriculum for entomology at Post graduate level must include information, understanding, visibility and concern over the quarantine and biosecurity issues.
- Emphasis on designated insect repositories to be of international standards.
- Effective use of the taxonomists in India is not being done and it was suggested that there must be a national database for the biocontrol agents like being done at CABI.
- Forecasting and forewarning of invasive threats is lacking in the country and needs to be addressed. Reports on invasives must be authenticated with taxonomic confirmation and this is a must for the strict internal quarantine.
- Adequate quarantine facilities at ports of entry with taxonomist must be created for effective handling of introductions. There is need for domestic quarantine and the management package for the already introduced pests should be emphasised.
- Awareness must be created for the invasives and proper domestic quarantine established and all the nine ports be strengthened and people need to be sensitised about the issues related to biosecurity.
- The discussions supported the need for free exchange of germplasm of dead and live insects for research without the intervention of biodiversity act.
- It was felt that the period of import permits may be enhanced from current 6 months to 2 years and suitable renewal period
(Source: NBAII, Bangalore)