Crop Pest Surveillance and Advisory Project – for pest management on major crops in Maharashtra

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Project in Brief

The project was undertaken in the backdrop of severe outbreak on soybean crop during 2008-09 in Maharashtra that resulted into crop losses over an area of 9 lakh ha (i.e.63% of sown area) causing losses to tune of Rs.1,392 crore. State Government had given compensation worth Rs.450 crore to the farmers. Team of experts deputed by Government of India submitted their observations and recommendations. An initiative was taken by the Commissionerate of Agriculture in technical collaboration with NCIPM, New Delhi to formulate long-term strategy to deal with situation. First time in the country, a multi-stakeholder project involving Crop Research Institutes of National level, State Agriculture Universities and State Department of Agriculture was prepared and implemented through RKVY. Effective use of ICT was made in the project. Scientific pest monitoring on real-time basis was first time made possible in the country. The project covers entire area under Rice, Soybean, Cotton, Tur and Gram crop. The area coverage under project is 112.19 lakh hectares.

Highlights

Earlier system of pest monitoring was based on visual observations and was found inadequate for proper detection of pest problems.
Scientific Software was developed to analyze the data on-line.
Effective use of ICT was made for rapid data transmission and issue of advisories to farmer.
Considering the multi-tasking nature of duties of departmental staff 835 pest scouts and 84 data entry operators were appointed on contractual basis exclusively for the project.
Connectivity was provided to all the stakeholders. Software and technical training is imparted to field staff.
Observations were recorded every Monday-Tuesday and Thursday-Friday from fixed plots and random plots. On every Wednesday and Saturday on-line data entry was done. Analyzed data was made available on-line to the experts to assist field officer. The SMS messages of measures to be adopted were passed to farmers every Thursday and Monday.
Detail advisories pasted at Gram Panchayat. Wide publicity was done through print and electronic media.
Village level meeting conducted weekly to guide the farmers.
Pesticides supplied on 50% subsidy wherever the pest situation is above ETL.
Rigorous monitoring at all levels.
Pest population data superimposed on weather parameter data through GIS maps to develop correlation of pest population dynamics for developing pest forecasting models.

Impact

Since inception of project there is no outbreak of any major pests on selected crops.

Impact Analysis

Year No. of Subscribers for SMS (Lakh) No. of advisories Issued (No) No. of SMS Sent (Lakh) Use of Bio-pesticides
2009-10 1.63 13517 31.93 1788
2010-11 2.40 55602 112.0 22
2011-12 3.11 62410 199.06 2500
2012-13 3.40 62515 360.83 2800

Since inception of project number of farmers enrolled for SMS service has doubled, advisories issued has increased by 4.63 times, SMS send increased by 11.30 times and shift towards use of bio-pesticides increased by 1.57 times. These figures are self indicative of farmers response to the project.

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