MoS Speech at Inaugural Function of 5th International Conference on Plant Pathology in the Globalized Era

November 10, 2009, New Delhi

Following is the text of speech delivered by Minister of State for Agriculture, Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution Prof K V THOMAS on the occasion of 5th International Conference on Plant Pathology in the Globalized Era on 10th November, 2009 here today:

I am pleased to be amidst you today while a very old scientific society is organizing this conference on a very current theme.  Crop health is a basic means of food security and sustainability.  A host of uncontrolled diseases still plague us and Pathogens lose 30% crop output, stressing production and productivity.  Globalized trade and supply chains are likely to aggravate this. Freer trade terms have compounded pathogen threat and made crops risky.  Some of our success stories, like the control of Wheat Rust are encouraging.  However, sustainable disease diagnosis, increased surveillance, breeding for resistance and transgenics should receive greater focus and international cooperation.

The Technical Sessions being held on "New generation biomolecules and chemicals for disease management, "Global crop heal status - problems and prospects in developing countries", "Molecular basis of host pathogen interactions", "Molecular basis of disease resistance" and " Disease management strategies" specifically will deliberate in depth on both short-term and long-term strategies to be adopted to safeguard plant health.

The conference will also have diverse sessions like "Education and human resource development in plant pathology" and "Outreach programmes in plant pathology and farmers participation". 

This will help in capacity building and confidence building among farmers, plant disease diagnosticians and the government extension agencies.  Critical gaps and local specific constraints identified during the deliberations of the conference can provide the topics on which outreach programmes can be later undertaken.

I have a great pleasure to inaugurate the 5th International Conference on "Plant Pathology in the Globalized Era" and I welcome all of you to Delhi, the capital city of India with rich history and to the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, the site of green revolution in India.  I wish the conference a grand success and declare it open.

(Source: Anil K Sharma, PRO ICAR )