DISEASE MANAGEMENT IN HORTICULTURAL CROPS
Demand for eco-friendly bio-pesticides and other methods in disease management is gaining momentum from the fact that slowly India is moving towards organic production of crops which need alternative approaches of crop protection.
There are numbers of alternative approaches like botanical pesticides, bio-pesticides, plant resistance, manipulation of cultural practices, use of organic amendments, use of physical approaches like soil solorisotion and modern molecular techniques of developing Transgenic. In addition, tapping the potential of resistance sources through biotechnological tools hove also been effectively used for the management of plant diseases.
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations estimates that pests i.e. insects, weeds, plant diseases, rodents and birds cause up to 35 percent of the losses in the crop production worldwide, annually.
When losses due to pests are combined with postharvest losses, worldwide food losses would amount to 45 percent.
It is reported that less than 0.1 per cent of pesticide sprayed reaches the sites of action, due to loss of pesticide in air during application and as run-off, spray drift, off-target deposition and photo degradation affecting both the environment and application costs.
It is estimated that approximately 1.8 billion people are engaged in agriculture and most use pesticides to protect food and commercial products that they produce.
Worldwide, 4.6 million tonnes of chemical pesticides are sprayed into the environment every year.
Developing countries account for 25 percent of world pesticide use in farming, but account for 99 percent of the world’s deaths due to pesticides.
Recent estimates indicate that the economic impact of pesticides on non-target species (including humans) is approximately $8 billion annually in developing countries.
About 25 million agricultural workers experience unintentional pesticide poisonings each year around the world.
In India, According to a report of the Ministry of Agriculture, residues of chemical pesticides were detected in 9.2 percent of the samples of different food articles collected between 2006 and 2012, out of which 1.5 percent of the samples contained residues above maximum permissible level.
Almost 90 per cent of the microbial biopesticides currently available in the market are derived from only one pathogenic bacterium i.e. Bacillus thuringiensis or Bt which is used against insect-pests.
In plant disease management, Trichodermo spp. are the most widely used microbial biopesticide.
Agrobacterium radiobacter K1026 is used against crown gall disease worldover.
One of the most successful examples of microbial biopesticide use is in the management of diamondback moth (Plutella xylostello) which is the most destructive insect pest on Brassicas vegetables in tropical Asia and Africa.
Against diseases of vegetable crops, the major microbial biopesticides used are Trichodermo viride, E harzionum, Pseudomonas fluorescent and Bacillus subtilis.
Currently, biopesticides comprise a small share of the total crop protection market globally, with a value of about $3 billion worldwide, accounting for just 5 per cent of the total crop protection market.
According to the figures from BPIA (Bio-Pesticides Industry Alliance), the world market for biopesticides grew at a double-digit rate (10%) from USD 670 million to USD 1 billion, between 2005 and 2010.
Further, between 2010-11 and 2016-17, usage of bio-pesticides increased by 23 per cent, while that of chemical pesticides grew only by 2 per cent.
Data from the Directorate of Plant Protection, Quarantine & Storage, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, indicate that in 2010-11, the all-India consumption of bio-pesticide was 5,151 tonnes, which has increased to 6,340 tonnes for 2016-17.
Bio-pesticides market in India, generated revenue of $102 Million in 2016 and is anticipated to contribute $778 Million by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 25.4 per cent.
Globally, there were more than 430 registered bio-pesticide active ingredients and 1320 active product registrations in 2014.