Bayer CropScience recently held a national meet to create awareness among farmers and other stakeholders on the crop-damaging plant plant parasitic nematodes in Bengaluru.

Over 70 eminent nematologists from across the country participated in the event which focussed on the status of nematode problems in various crops. Plant parasitic nematodes, like other insect pests and diseases, not only damage agriculture and horticulture crops but also accentuate diseases caused by fungal, bacterial and viral pathogens leading to “disease complexes,” the company said in a statement.

During the conference, participants and Bayer representatives discussed ways such as joint ventures, to formulate tangible futuristic strategies for nematode management and bring benefits to the farming community.

“This conference is a first-of-its-kind for the industry where corporates and experts have come together to discuss these issues that directly impact our farmers and farming communities. We are excited to see long-term associations develop between various entities to address the need for nematode awareness amongst farmers and solutions that benefit them,” said Ravishankar Cherukuri, Vice President, Marketing, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, Bayer CropScience Limited said.

NG Ravichandra, Former Professor, Department of Plant Pathology, University of Agricultural Sciences, Bengaluru said, “Integrated management with bioagents novel chemistry, traits along with cultural practices should ensure effective management of nematodes in vegetables.”

“Use of nematode-free planting material, soil-less propagation, better fumigation methods and nursery certifications are important for managing nematode problems in spices and condiments,” said S Eapen, Former Director, the Indian Institute of Spice Research.

Through a partnership between the corporate sector and academia, the conference attendees expressed hope that their technical expertise and resources can be utilised in the effective management of nematode diseases of crops.