I wish all visitors and contributors to my blog a Happy and Prosperous New Year 2009. The past year was eventful in the sense, that there were alarm bell ringing about climate change in various forums worldwide and most of the agencies have started focusing on this impending peril. Of course it is imperative that the first victim of climate change would be agriculture especially in fragile ecosystems. Under the rapidly changing conditions of industrialization, population growth in some parts, demand on land for increased food production, generation of astounding amounts of waste, mass consumerism in some countries, and others, palm trees cannot escape the wrath of climatic changes in the coming decades. Our knowledge about the impact of these weather changes on the population dynamics of Red Palm Weevil, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus Oliv in various agro-climatic zones as well as palm based cropping systems is limited. Hence, it is necessary to formulate research projects on these aspects, so as to generate adequate information to deal with the pest more effectively. In the coming years, more attention should be paid to study in detail the consequences of the changes in climate on the population dynamics like buildup, dispersal, survival, etc. in new areas hither to unaffected by this pest. I feel this is a priority area in view of the fact that the pest has overcome the geographical barriers to reach and cause heavy damage in new continents in the past decade and half or so. The R & D labs in public and private sector should work hard to test and validate the new and alternate technologies thoroughly in the field under the watchful eye of experts and ensure that the final product is biosafe, effective, practical, and makes economic sense for user. It is heartening to see new developments taking place in many countries to develop alternate methods of control apart from refining the existing control methods. Care should be taken to see that the new control methods do not cause ecological disaster in the long run. The success of any pest control program especially, R. ferrugineus management depends up on the net working of extension departments, training program, refresher courses, study visits etc. In spite of the availability of all resources viz., strong financials, material, skilled staff, etc. many national programs have not yielded the desired results. Though there are many reasons for this situation, perhaps it may be due to botched up strategies, plans, prioritization, execution etc. For the success of a control program, coordination among various agencies is a critical component. One should look at the pest as a dynamic system that is evolving constantly and we have to device ways and means to subjugate it before it is late. Let us hope the New Year will bring new and innovative technologies within the reach of farmers across the world. I urge the researchers, managers, policy makers, growers and people connected with this devastating pest to write their comments, views, experiences for the benefit of others.
Biological Control, Innovations, Management methods, Uncategorized
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