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Crop Protection Management

1. India with diversified agro-ecosystems responded spontaneously to the technologies of green revolution with the introduction of several components in crop production like developing and adopting high yielding varieties, hybrids, usage of new agro-chemicals and adoption of intensive crop cultivation techniques.

2. The gains of green revolution reflected in the shape of production of 200 million tonnes of food grains, 25 million tonnes of oil seeds and 15 million tonnes of fibres per annum. But these steady gains in agricultural production over the past four decades have not fully overcome the problem of rising demand caused by soaring population growth.

3. Adding to the population explosion, there were frequent setbacks to crop production experienced in the shape of abiotic and biotic stresses during the last two decades in several food crops where intensive farm practices were adopted.

4. Among these stresses on major crops, increased pest populations leading to the stage of collapse of economy, at times make the planners and executors to be helpless. In the past one and half decades, the periodical unabated explosions of aphids, whiteflies, bollworms, pod borers, defoliators, coccids, cutworms, plant hoppers etc., as direct crop damagers and disease transmitters in different regions of the country have made agriculture less remunerative and highly risk prone.


Soyabean aphid (Aphis glycines)

White flies on tomato plant


Boll worm infecting cotton

Small bean pod borer larva

5. The ability of some of these pests to develop resistance curbs the effectiveness of many commercial chemicals. Resistance has accelerated in many insect species and it was reported that more than 500 insect and mite species are immune to one or more insecticides at present. Similarly about 150 plant pathogens such as fungus and bacteria are now shielded against fungicides. Some of the weedicides also found effective earlier failed to control weeds nowadays.

Galinsoga, a small weed and vegetable crops

6. Experts assessment reveal that around 22 per cent of yield losses in major crops like Rice, Cotton, Groundnut, Sugarcane, Sorghum, Tomato, Chillies, Mango, Grapes, etc., can be attributed to insect pests.

7. Hence, there is a need to reduce if not eliminate these losses by protecting the crops from different pests through appropriate techniques. At present the role of crop protection in agriculture is of great importance and a more challenging process than before, as the so called resistant species should be brought under check.

8. All other management practices of crop husbandry will be futile if the crop is not protected against the ravages of pests. In the absence of crop protection the yields may drastically decline. The entire effort of growing a crop will be defeated in the absence of crop protection resulting in financial loss to the grower. So the crop protection against various pests is a must in agriculture.

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