Role of Plant Clinics in addressing pest and disease management
Agriculture plays a pivotal role in India’s economy. Over 58% of rural households depend on agriculture as their principal means of livelihood. Pests and diseases cause significant loss to crops directly and indirectly at global, national, and regional levels. According to an estimate of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), in 2015, up to 25% of annual yield was lost due to disease and pests in India. Timely diagnosis of various problems (pest, disease, nutritional deficiencies) that hamper crop growth is necessary to minimize production losses. In order to address these gaps, community-based Plant Clinics were established in Tamil Nadu in 2012 by M. S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) in partnership with the Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI). The Plant Clinic as an intervention addresses the information gap at the farm level by providing value-added information to farmers and consistent follow-ups. The study concludes that timely diagnosis using new technologies has a positive impact on small holding farmers, by reducing input cost per acre and increasing production and net income.
KeywordsPlant Clinic Information Pest and disease ICT Agriculture extension Tamil Nadu
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