I was wondering that people are using the chemical pesticides indiscriminately that is making our productivity decline. We the researchers are unable to make the farmers aware of the fact that the chemical pesticides are the last one to be used. I shall try to convey the the basic principles of the plant health management.
1. Phytosanitation: Keep the cultivation area free of diseased material like leaves, roots, etc. The cleanliness reduces the primary inoculum of the disease causing agents. This simple principle should be followed as soon as the first symptom appears on the farm. This is the best way to manage the diseases on small farms and helps in reducing the costs.
2. Cultural Practices: Alter the environment in which disease is appearing by using some cultural operations like removing some of diseased portions and altering the drainage of the soil or using some inter-cropping pattern’s or using some other crop as barrier crop or trap crop etc. Since this also removes the primary inoculum as well as modifies the environment for disease proliferation again without enhancing the cost to a greater level.
3. Biological Control: Introduction of biological control agents in the soil or directly on the phylloplane (leaf area) helps the plant in fighting with plant pathogen and help the plant to grow healthy with a little cost.
4. Chemical Control: Agrochemicals should be the last priority to manage the disease and that too after the proper diagnosis. As the application of a wrong chemical will not only worsen the situation but also pollute the soil and soil microflora. i.e. soil health. In turn increase the cost without preventing the damage caused by the insect-pests or disease.
One must follow these principles in order to achieve the sustainable production by plants at the same time this brings down the cost of production as well.