Chickpea scientists pool their knowhow to train younger scientists in disease management
With newer diseases affecting chickpea crops, it is increasingly important to detect and manage them on time. With a view to develop and disseminate standardized protocols for detection, phenotyping and management of chickpea diseases, a group of chickpea experts came together to share their skills and knowledge in an online workshop recently.
At the outset of the 3-day workshop, Dr Mamta Sharma, Theme Leader, Integrated Crop Management, ICRISAT, said that one of the effects of climate change has been an increased incidence of pest and diseases in chickpea crop and minor diseases becoming major. Dr Pooran Gaur, Research Program Director, Asia, ICRISAT, explained that with chickpea being grown in different regions and climates than earlier prevalent, and at more variable sowing times, it was becoming more vulnerable to certain diseases. Dr Kiran Sharma, Deputy Director General, ICRISAT, emphasized the need to have greater focus on phenotyping with standardized protocols.
Dr SK Rao, Vice Chancellor, Rajmata Vijayaraje Scindia Krishi Vishwa Vidyalaya, Gwalior, credited ICRISAT with having contributed significantly towards chickpea disease phenotyping to address the needs of target beneficiaries. Development of multiple disease-resistant varieties and identification of disease-resistant gene is the need of the hour to develop a successful resistant breeding program, he said. According to the co-organizer of this workshop Dr DR Saxena, Principal Scientist, RAK College of Agriculture, Sehore, and Principal Investigator – AICRP Chickpea Plant Pathology, AICRP scientists were looking forward to the workshop for new and rapid disease phenotyping techniques to cope with the changing disease scenario.
The program included a) Expert lectures and updates on the current scenario of diseases b) Online practical training sessions on individual disease/pathogen and c) Brainstorming and group discussions.
The training workshop covered modules related to:
- Surveillance and monitoring of diseases
- Disease diagnosis and identification
- Phenotyping for disease resistance
- Innovative management approaches
- Emerging diseases and the way forward
The virtually held training session, ‘Online International Expert Workshop on Chickpea diseases – Detection, Phenotyping and Management,’ was held during 15-18 December 2020, jointly organized by RAK College of Agriculture, Sehore, ICAR-All India Coordinated Research Project on Chickpea, and ICRISAT.
Of the 250 or more applications that were received from across the world including Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar, Egypt, Netherlands, South Africa, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Algeria, Syria, Republic of Morocco and Malawi, about 75 short-listed participants virtually attended the various sessions from different locations over three days.
Sr Communication Officer, ICRISAT