National Entomologists’ Meet organised

Dr NK Krishna kumar, DDG(HS) addressing the entomologistsThe National Entomologists’ Meet was organized jointly by Society for Advancement of Natural Resins and Gums (SANRAG), ICAR-Indian Institute of Natural Resins and Gums (IINRG) and Network Project on Conservation of Lac Insect genetic Resources (NP-CLIGR) during February 5-7, 2015 at IINRG, Ranchi.The deliberations by the 122 participants of the meet centred around on seven theme areas encompassing current and emerging insect pest challenges including resistance, invasive species and outbreaks; integrated pest management; insect vector management; biocontrol agents; biopesticides; chemical ecology; habitat architecture; harnessing  insects for economic products ; commercial and other beneficial insect farming; impact of climate change, agriculture and anthropogenic activities on insect dynamics; biosecurity; biosafety ;biodiversity and conservation; and insect prospecting.

Twenty-four lead lectures were given by eminent entomologists, which highlighted the areas of agricultural entomology which need attention in the present context besides 52 oral and 110 poster presentations, a compilation of which was also released.

The theme areas of the Meet comprehensively attempted to bring out thrust areas related to insects of agricultural importance with special focus on edible insects.The discussions addressed both desirable and undesirable insect fauna: agricultural pests; commercial insects (lac, silk and honey); edible insects; pollinators and other service providers; soil insects; insects of value in medicine, fashion and ecotourism; etc.

Action Points:

Policy and interventions (Action : Central/State Govt.;ICAR)

  • Establishment of an Institute of Agricultural Entomology Research: To encompass hithertounaddressed or under-addressed facets of basic and applied entomological research such as chemical ecology, biosystematics, edible insects, insect tourism, vector management, etc.
  • Strengthening the scientific manpower in Entomology in ICAR institutes.
  • Modification and finalization of Biosafety and Biosecurity policy in view of emerging scenario.
  • Legislation and its execution to prevent illegal trading edible insects leading to depletion due to unmindful and unscrupulous practices.
  • Development of national standards for phytosanitary measures.

Infrastructure, support system, services (Action: Central/State Govt.; ICAR)

  • Strengthening national academic infrastructure for capacity building priority/emerging areas: edible insects, entomotourism, insect vector biology, insectparataxonomy, etc.
  • Establishment of IT-based network of agricultural entomologists for exchange of information, consultations, etc.
  • Constitution of task force for addressing invasive insect pests.
  • Constitution of regional expert panels to address emerging insect pest outbreaks.
  • Promotion and support mechanisms including capacity building programmes for establishment of insect biocontrol agents and biopesticides in villages.
  • Establishment of biovillages to showcase biointensive pest management (BIPM) for boosting its adoption.
  • In view of acute gap in biopesticide production, a major push for more biopesticide production units for reliable and enhanced production through incentivization and capacity building.

Research thrusts (Action: ICAR; ICAR institutes; SAUs; Other Universities)

  • Creation of national databases of i) Awareness and promotion of edible insects ii) molecular systematics of for quick and reliable identification of potential invasive insect pests; iii)
  • Edible and medicinal insects: Identification of select edible insect species amenable to farming and its development including their nutritional value and farming techniques; documentation of indigenous knowledgeand practices.
  • Stress on fundamental science research in agricultural entomology: Population genetics of agricultural pests with changing scenario; pesticide residue in food chain including biomagnifcation; exhaustive investigations on soil arthropod diversity influenced by agrochemicals; strengthening taxonomic and biosystematics research in agricultural entomology.
  • Promotion of multi-cropping to minimize vector-transmitted plant diseases.
  • Mission mode programme forincreasing crop yieldsconservation  and fostering of crop-specific pollinators for enhancing crop productivity:habitat configuration based on chemical ecology and through promotion of crop specific Apis and non-apis pollinators esp. in key crops
  • Identification of alternate more discriminatoryterm for entomophagylike insectarian.
  • Development of crop, area and season-specific pest calendars for the country.