Guwahati, July 26: A seminar on integrated pest management in tea estates organised recently by North Eastern Tea Association (NETA) prescribed tapping indigenous technical knowledge (ITK) and adopting eco-friendly approach to effectively control the pests and diseases in tea plantations.
The core topic of the seminar was “Climate Smart Advance Integrated Pest Management for Tea Plantation: A Sustainable Approach” and the resource person was Dr. Somnath Roy, in-charge of Department of Entomology, Tea Research Institute (TRI), Tocklai, Jorhat.
“In tea plantations there are wide spectrum of pests and diseases which needs to be dealt so that there is no crop loss. Moreover, cost of pest management has been spiralling over the years and is a burden for tea farmers. Also, pests are getting immune and resistant to pesticides.
"Keeping that in mind, it was found that Integrated Pest Management (IPM) along with Integrated Nutrition Management (INM) is the way forward for sustainability of tea plantations.
“Healthy plants are always less susceptible to pests’ infestation. Healthy plant can be produced only on healthy soil. Therefore, focus on improvement of soil health is a major outcome of the seminar,” the resource person said.
Use of Indigenous Technical Knowledge (ITK) was also discussed at length in the seminar and it was underlined that locally available trees and vegetation like maha neem, ghora neem, dhopat tita, khorapat etc., have anti-insect properties.
“Also, cow urine diluted with water is effective in controlling some pests and acts as a growth promoter of crops. Botanicals fermented in cow urine also help in controlling pests,” the participants were enlightened.
“Less use of pesticides, rejuvenation of soil health, adopt more ecological practices, creating an environment for natural predators to survive, planting of some fruit trees, growing of some variety of flowers, use of some vegetation and flowers as natural barriers against pests and proper implementation of cultural methods were key takeaways from the seminar.
The seminar ended with a strong conviction that yes we can bring down levels of pest incidence by an eco-friendly approach”, said Bidyananda Barkakoty, Adviser, NETA.