National Agricultural Innovation Project (NAIP) of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) accords high priority to the generation, reforms and transfer of innovative agricultural technologies in a value chain mode. The overall objective of the NAIP is to facilitate an accelerated and sustainable transformation of the Indian Agriculture so that it can support poverty alleviation and income generation through collaborative development and application of agricultural innovations by the public organization in partnership with farmers, the private sectors and the other stakeholders. The specific objective of NAIP under the Component-2 is to promote research on `Production to Consumption Systems (PCS)` in priority areas/ themes to enhance productivity, nutrition, profitability, income and employment.
Sub-project on Biopesticides
Present project is funded by NAIP entitled `A Biopesticide Mediated Value Chain for Clean Vegetables’ under the theme: Resource Use Efficiency (Innovative Environmental Friendly Bio-pesticides).
Himachal Pradesh is bestowed with a wide range of congenial agro-climatic conditions, enabling hill farmers to grow high value vegetable crops. Out of these, garden pea and cabbage are the important crops which fetch premium price in the local and national markets. However, their cultivation and production is jeopardized by the ravages of insect-pests and diseases causing loss to the extent of Rs 400-500 crores annually. To combat the menace of these pests, farmers resort to frequent and indiscriminate use of chemical pesticides, which has resulted into adverse effects on human health and environment. In view of growing awareness in the public about the contamination of vegetables by synthetic chemical pesticides, production of biopesticides and their utilization in plant protection for the production of `clean’ vegetables is of immense importance.
Biopesticides with longer shelf-life and adequate field efficacy under temperate conditions will be developed from Melia azedarach (darek), Eupatorium adenophorum (kaali-basuti) and Trichoderma spp. Use of local eco-types of Trichogramma spp. will also constitute an important component of biopesticide based pest management.Development of cost effective biopesticide based pest management packages for the production of clean vegetables and their processing into value added products form an important component of the project. In addition, establishment of public-private linkage has been aimed at for the production of biopesticides, clean vegetables and value added `clean` vegetable products which would result in entrepreneurship development, enhanced income and employment generation.