They plan public-private partnership to give a push to research
About 350 agricultural scientists, including plant breeders, geneticists and entomologists, from across the globe will meet in Bangalore to deliberate on research efforts needed for increasing yield level and reducing losses of tomato and chilli crop.
The scientists will participate in a two-day Asia Solanaceous Crops Round Table (ASRT) – 2014 from Tuesday. The focus will be on reducing incidents of diseases and pests in the two crops across the globe.
There is much need for a congregation of scientists as conservative estimates put the losses of the two crops at Rs. 400 crore a year in India alone.
First of its kind
The round table is being jointly organised by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Asia and Pacific Seed Association, Bangkok, Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, Bangalore, and the Society for Promotion of Horticulture.
It will be the first of its kind effort and will aim at building a public-private-partnership in scientific research.
The round table attempts to build a forum of scientists from both the public and private institutes to work on a public-private partnership model to help farmers. While the public institutes will set the stage for fundamental research, the private institutes will take them forward to farmers by fine-tuning them, said T. Manjunatha, director of Institute of Horticultural Research.
The round table will identify the issues to be taken up for research and the institutes that will handle them. While the deliberations would be held at the round table, an action plan would follow soon, he said.
Noted scientist Surinder K. Tikoo, who is also chairman of the technical committee of the round table, said focus would be on bridging the differences in yield levels of the crops.
Pointing out that the average yield of tomato in India was only 20 tonnes a hectare while innovative farmers were getting 75 tonnes a hectare, Mr. Tikoo said there was a dire need to increase the average yield.
Help to farmers
Chairman of the organising committee N. Anand said the focus on tomatoes and chillies would go a long way in helping small and marginal farmers in India as they account for nearly 80 per cent of those cultivating these crops.
Scientists from nine countries, including US, China, Holland, Israel, Thailand and European countries, will participate in the round table which is being followed with hope by those associated with the two crops.