STATE TIMES NEWS JAMMU: A six-day training programme for new Plant Doctors under CABI’s Plantwise Programme began here on Wednesday. The training programme has been organised by Department of Agriculture Jammu in collaboration with Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI). Director Agriculture, Jammu, P. S. Rathore, lit the ceremonial lamp to mark the Inauguration of the training. As many as 28 new officers will be trained as back up plant doctors. The training on Module I (Field Diagnosis) and Module II (Recommendations and art of giving advice), interaction and feedback, Plant Doctor’s self assessment, problem diagnosis, live sample identification and presentation on future planning are the main attractions of the programme. Brain Storming Training sessions will be conducted by Sushil Kumar SMS, and Arun Khajuria I/c Plant Health Clinic Jammu. In his inaugural address, the Director said that there is need to widen the scope and content of work progress of the ongoing Plant Clinics to mitigate the crop losses due to insect pests and disease problems of crops. He impressed upon the officers of Department and CABI to popularize the concept of Plant Health Clinics at gross root level by continuous touch with the farmers, active involvement of extension agency and conducting frequent farmers awareness programmes. He further asked the trainees and resource persons to conduct healthy group discussion and come out with practical suggestions to strengthen the plant protection setup. Joint Director Agriculture, B. K. Zutshi informed that 24 Plant Clinics are functioning in five districts namely Jammu, Kathua, Samba, Rajouri and Udhampur at present. He urged the trainees to utilize the knowledge gained during the training in the field for benefit of farming community. Dr Vinod Pandit, Programme Leader, CABI, South Asia told that Plant Doctors work on different aspects of the pest management including data collection, online validation and analysis . These clinics are equipped with Tablets and USB Microscopes to operate under ICT system which provides complete database and advisory for plant pest and diseases. Mr. Ganeshamoorthy Rajenderan, Country Co-coordinator, CABI, South Asia elaborated in detail the Plant wise Knowledge bank system which comprises of data base and factsheets for helping the plant doctors in diagnostic process and appropriate recommendations. Earlier while presenting the preview of plantwise programme S. K. Dhawan, Agriculture gave a brief about the programme.
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